Not only is Vijay Sardesai's statement on Indian tourists in poor taste, his sense of timing is even more poor. I am just back from Delhi where Haryana has emerged as the number one State in the Khelo India Games. What an irony! Mr. Vijay Sardesai is a Minister now and he must act and speak responsibly. Not make statements which can have detrimental effects on Tourism which is a major Industry in Goa and so many people make their livelihoods out of it. What exactly does he mean when he says Goa needs only high-end tourists? That only the rich should come to Goa and the rest should stay out? While the rich will cater mostly to the Five star hotel lobby, it is the rest which will benefit the locals in the industry. Has Mr. Vijay been elected by only the high-end citizens of Fatorda and not the rest? Mr. Sardesai must not make statements which are demeaning to a certain class of people. Goa needs tourists of both kinds. Many lakhs of tourists come to Goa, which is a destination known for its good hospitality. Not everybody behaves badly. Perhaps a miniscule percentage will, but a majority of them don’t. But when a responsible Minister makes a statement like this, it creates a general distrust between the locals and the outsiders at large which is unfair. Remember the rickshawallas in Mumbai being beaten up while the Government did its own deals with the Ambanis in Mumbai? Whenever Indians travel abroad, they will always act responsibly. They will not dare to throw litter on the streets of London or Singapore. Why? Because they know they will be penalised severely. Spare the rod and spoil the child. Mr. Sardesai is a powerful Cabinet Minister and he together with his other colleagues are now collectively responsible for giving us good administration. If some sections of the tourists are behaving irresponsibly and do not demonstrate good civic sense, it is because the administration is allowing them to. Why not haul up the Police force to ensure there is better Policing on the beaches? Why not impose hefty fines on those who litter our streets and beaches or cook in the open? Making headline statements will not solve our problems. Now that this issue has come to the forefront, Vijay must let his actions speak louder than words. Ensure through good governance measures that Goa remains clean and beautiful.
regards, Sandeep Heble 9326129171