Racism Against Indians in Goa

Posted on January 21, 2010 in Exclusive, Society

Rudrani Das Gupta:

It did not end with 1947, in case you were wondering. You feel so relieved about not being in Australia after all the horrifying news reports that you have been reading about the attacks on the Indians there. Stop right there and take a look around. In the land of pristine beaches and buffeting waves, there is an ugly side that many fail to see.

If you think that you know all about Goa and it’s notorious reputation for sex, drugs and the occasional rape thrown in, there is more to come. Being a place frequented by truck loads (or, in this case, plane-loads) of foreign tourists, there are certain places there where you will be subjected to subtle racist hostility from the tourist population who, by the way are supposed to be visiting YOUR country! And, worse than that, there are many local Goans who will show a marked reference for “foreigners” when it comes to serving them or offering them rooms. If you want to prove it, try walking down the famous (infamous?) Anjuna beach, looking for rooms.

This narrative obviously stems from a first hand experience of the intensely disturbing instances of racism in one of the most happening tourist regions in the country. There are certain beaches which are mostly frequented by the “middle-class Indian crowd” as many travel guides choose to phrase it. Foreign tourists are rarely seen. On the other hand, in places like Anjuna which was one of THE destinations for the Woodstock generation in the ’60s, Indians are rarely found.

We had the misfortune of choosing Anjuna as one of our travel destinations and for the first few hours we had to scout around for rooms. It was then that many guesthouse owners politely informed us that they did not cater to an Indian clientele. The best part is, these people were Indians themselves. The place which was gracious enough to accommodate us, told us that they did not take in Indians generally, but since we looked like “decent people”, they would be glad to make an exception for once! From what we gathered, Indians are regarded as a noisy and ill-mannered bunch who are known for the wake of litter that they leave behind wherever they go. This ridiculous generalization surely leaves one speechless.

There was still more to come. Most of the times, whenever we happened to enter one of the numerous cafes, the level of conversation in the room would drop by a couple of decibels and the people would turn around and stare.

There was this instance for example, when a lady walked into the cafe where we were sitting and started handing out flyers for a rave party that was going to take place somewhere. The reason why I am unable to mention the name of the place in this article is not because I am trying to save my backside from the drug police but because I don’t know! And why do I not know? Because the tourist deliberately bypassed our table and passed around the flyers to all the “white” people sitting there! No one wants to lose out on foreign revenue.

So, what’s a little “black or white” got to do with that?

Related: Logic of Racism

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Mohsin can

See the ghaatis behave so different and DnT knw how to behave. They drink and try to act over smart. We goans are the best people. We DnT have problems but wen outside state people and make our Goa dirty..,wen we goans go to other state we behave in good manner


We do face racism in Maharashtra
Marathi don’t respect others. they tend to get jealous and angry and start hitting others… isn’t it insecurity


I saw subtle racism against Indians by Goans.I went there once in my youth ans saw the difference with which Goans treat Indians and westerners.My friend wanted to buy something and asked for a discount they said they don’t want to sell.Went to a PG house,they said they don’t want to give us the room…my friend joked that even the dogs in Goa are treated better than Indians.Now to make this fair i did see people from Uttar Pradesh ogling topless women.There are many places one can visit in western ghats without racism.

    Thony baptista

    we goans dont create nuisance wen we travel to other states of our india buh m sorry to say most people cumin to goa drink n create nuisance to locals as well as other indian tourist n foreigners and after they go an complain aganist v r peaceful ppl not lik some ppl from other states who fights in d name of religion..


I agree with some of the comments on here and I could write a very long list of instances of marginalisation discrimination and xenophobia I have witnessed in Goa and other parts of India, but don’t think for one minute the same doesn’t happen in other countries because it does. I have been marginalised in my own country (uk) by foreign owners/management of restaurants/bars/shops who give preferential treatment to their own, but I am not obligated to patronise them and once it happens it never happens again. I admit that this sort of incidence is becoming less and less due to bad online reviews which are of detriment to those who discriminate in one way or another, the result of which India is now facing with harassment and rape of foreigners and nationals, I’m afraid the heyday of disrespecting foreigners and nationals in any country are over, comply or suffer the consequences. Goa as gotten most of it’s revenue from tourists…or should I say “did”, now unfortunately most foreigners and nationals apart from the odd few package tourists have fled to more safe and welcoming countries where value for money isn’t in monetary but more in overall enjoyment, where locals welcome you instead of staring at you with fear and pent up hostility.

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