Panjim: While calling for caution against ‘north Indians’ who want to create ‘a Haryana in Goa’, it’s Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai said that ‘Domestic Tourists are the scum of the earth’.
According to a report in the Indian Express, Sardesai, who was speaking at the Goa BizFest in Bambolim, contradicted Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s target of one crore tourists and asked the government to attract foreign and upper-class Indian tourists.
Sardesai is the president of the Goa Forward Party which is part of the BJP government in Goa.
“Today we have almost six times population of Goa coming as tourists. Those tourists are not top-end tourists, they are also the scum of the earth. Are they responsible? They are not. If you compare Goans to rest of India, we are high in per capita income, social and political consciousness, we are much superior than people who are coming in. Those people, how you will control (them)? Can you control them?”
“We could control them at one point in time. But we jumped the Russians… We decided to put all eggs in one basket. The British have gone away. And, now we are dependent upon the north Indians and this is what they do. They are not bothered about Goa. They want to recreate Haryana in Goa,” said Sardesai. He then chose to connect “those states” as being “responsible for problems Goa has today”.
While ‘clarifying’ his comments Sardesai told the Indian Express that his comments were a reaction to a bureaucrat’s comment. He added that North Indians have a tendency to ‘gobble everything.’
“Also, look those who come from Delhi, Haryana and Gurgaon, they have a tendency, they want to gobble everything. We In Goa have a certain way of living. Fifty years ago, we fought a battle and refused to merge with Maharashtra.”
“Now we are fighting another kind of battle where these FSI people are coming and affecting our ethos. Why cannot they stay in hotels? They come and buy plots here and keep building,” he said.
While refusing comment on North Indians, Sardesai said he preferred a a model where the rich visit Goa as a tourist destination, to benefit the state’s poor. “It’s an idea I always have had. It all goes back to what Sir Vivian Richards told me at a tourism meet…He said, we can have the best beaches, best architecture, best beauty, but if we don’t have a golf course, it amounts to nothing,” he said.