Monday, May 5, 2008

It happens only in India

What do you observe when you look at this picture? You observe stark differentiation between foreign and Indian nationals. Like many other things, some things happen only in India. Once, while accompanying an American client for a visit to the Royal Palace, I was hugely embarrassed when I was asked to pay Rs 200 as entry fees for both of us. The ticket clerk mistook me to be a foreigner. After a closer look, he apologized and clarified “Sorry madam, it is Rs 120 only, Rs 100 for the American lady and Rs 20 for you. In some places the discrimination is even worst. The foreigners cough up Rs 1000/ for a visit to Taj Mahal where as Indian nationals pay only Rs 20. Those western looking NRIs too end up shelling out the exorbitant rates meant for foreign nationals. All tourist places run by government are authorized to charge the discriminating rates for Indians and foreigners. The logic of extracting extra charges from foreigners without any additional service is un comprehensible. India has a rich heritage to exhibit but India is one of the most unfriendly tourist countries. Lack of clean rest rooms, no good roads, no authorized translators/guides are just a few road blocks. Discriminating entry fees is an add on. Charging a different fee is justifiable only under one condition. If some extra services like a guide service is provided to the visitor. Extracting extra bucks from foreigners for the same service is obnoxious.

1 comment:

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