Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Some small incidences which all happened in last two days
1. I was travelling in an auto rickshaw and the driver while driving was continuously busy spitting on the road from both the sides alternatively. just imagine my plight, the whole journey was so nauseating
2. A well dressed; seemingly to be educated travelling in the latest model of car opened the car window and guess what? Spitted out without paying any attention to on whom his oral droppings may fall.
And then we talk about and complain about poor hygienic conditions in India !!!!!!!

3. A FOREIGN RETURNED NRI enjoying bhutta and walking in the rains of Mumbai threw it on road. As I knew that person I asked him ,” Will you do this from where you are coming” and he very confidently smiled and replied,” Are you crazy? We can never think of throwing anything on the road there.”. “Then pray tell me why did you throw it here?, I asked. And prompt came the reply,: you know here every one does it” And then he pointed out a so called modern educated college going youth who also openly threw his paper plate on the road after finishing his sandwich, “so even if I throw the garbage in the dustbin it is not going to help. First inculcate civic sense in every one then talk about others. Moreover the roads out there are so clean, so much hygiene is maintained so one can never think of making the roads dirty”. I had no answer to it.
4. While shopping on the famous linking road I bought a pair of earrings just for Rs. 20/- and much to my surprise when some foreigner asked the price of the earring he was quoted Rs. 150/- for the same pair. And this was not an isolated case; this discrimination in rates was very open in all the shops. I tried to be very conscientious and asked the guest of our country to pay Rs 20/- only, the same amount I had paid. And once again I was in for a big surprise rather shock as both the buyer and seller had something to tell me. The seller,” why did you tell him the actual rates. How would it have affected you if I had got something extra? I didn’t ask you to pay me extra. What right you had to cause loss to me? “ mere pet par laat kyun maari?”
And if this was not enough the buyer asked me,” Why, do you have two different rates for the same thing in your country. We have the same rates for everyone in our country. We don’t differentiate between outsiders or the locals.” then he had another story to tell me..
He informed me that he had to shell out Rs. 100/- in an auto rickshaw drive when the meter just showed Rs. 10/- (In Mumbai if the meter reading is 10 then we pay only Rs. 9/-). He further told me that later on he came to know about the actual fare which he should have paid.
He also told me that in Government museums, historical monuments or other tourist spots there are two rates for the tickets. One for the Indians and one for the foreigners. If the ticket is Rs. 10/- for Indians it will be approx. Rs. 100/- for all the tourist who are from outside India. I didn’t know what to answer him. Although I was aware of this but coming directly from someone who has faced it was very humiliating for me.
It is so easy to point fingers at others, and also compare India with other countries. But when we ourselves don’t do anything to raise the esteem of our country in the eyes of others how can we expect anyone to respect us and our country.
In the country where on one side we say that we believe in ATITHI DEVO BHAVA (means guests are like GOD and they should be treated and respected like GOD,) on the other side we just treat them as some money giving machines who can be stooched to take as much money as possible.
Why do we have such double standards?


Anonymous said...

That spitting irritates me really big time...

well we do have a few double standards...

but from what I learn a lot of countries have more expensive tickets for foreigners... They all want to have more foreign currency coming in the country i think it is natural...

But i think its a case everywhere... not just in our country...

Meira said...

The NRI should have been slapped!
And double standards against foreigners? Don't we have to shell out more than double the price at tourist spots? But I always thought museum charges were all rite. The foreigners do have an advantage of the exchange rate!

SJ said...

Double standards against foreigners is something even I am ashamed of. I can't imagine being treated like that here ( I am in the US)

I feel very sorry for them when I see them shelling out 500 rupees to visit a museum and we give only 50 rupees (in hyderbad museum) 2 of my classmates were from kenya and they were SO angry..

Smitha said...

I find it unbelievable how we are constantly creating dirt in our public places.. Would we spit anywhere that pleases us inside our houses - then why do it outside? It just beats me.

As for the double standards of NRIs - it is just too much! It is almost as if they get 'released' from some kind of prison as soon as they reach India, and can go about behaving at their worst!!!
I have even met some people who like to do the same abroad - because apparently 'they are Indians'!! Surely, to dirty, cut queues and misbehave is not 'being Indian'!!!!

And that story about the double standards towards foreigners, it is sad.. I have not seen it anywhere else that I have visited where they have different rates for foreigners and locals.. Atleast everywhere in Europe that I have been - it is the same for locals and tourists.. As for cheating tourists - I guess that is bound to happen anywhere where poverty levels are high. People want to get any advantage that they get..Not that it is right.. but when it comes to fleecing a foreigner - who looks so much better off than them - I gues people lose their scruples..

The Panorama said...

Why do we wait for others to do the responsible first and continue the bad behaviour simply because" this is how everyone is here?"
Your NRI friend is worse than everyone else living in India. He knows all about civic sense since he has to obey the rules in the country where he lives but disregards it in India. He made my blodd boil and I sort of agree with Meira..he he he he shoudl have been slapped!

Anonymous said...

People always want change to happen in India, but never take an initiative. sab ke sab saale darpok hain. All are stereotypes.
All have the woh karta hai tho main kyon na karoon attitude!

shilpa said...

I do agree with you.After coming to london i came to know the difference.We shout at the rooftops about our culture,traditions and values when it comes to comparisons with the foreign countries.But we forgot the basic culture of cleaning our own home country and living peacfully in garbage.I am not a super human to comment sitting here but i can promise that if i see something what you saw at least i will raise my voice once to make that person guilty.And if someone tells me that you cange others first then the answer would be it will start from you first.

Mimi said...

I also agree about the spitting on the ground, it is unclean and a very nasty habit.
I see it happening here as well. As for charging tourists more then the locales, now that is wrong, I cannot think of anything like that in America, but I would have to think about it for a while, Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, not just because we spend our money on you.

Anonymous said...

I am not aware of any differences in rates in the US for citizens and visitors. Now in some markets, vendors like to bargain with you and some buyers like to bargain back. We have yard sales all over this country and that is the way it is done. Most people put a price tag on an item, but expect a yard sale junkie to try to bargain the price down. Enjoy your discussions. Blessings

Apanatva said...

while pointing a finger at others remember remaining ones are
pointing towards us.

Arunima said...

experienced 1 and 2 and it is irritating. 3: it is his thinking. I try not to throw on the road. I carry toffee wrappers in my bag if I can't find a dust bin but I remember searching for a dustbin on an entire stretch of road holding a butta some years back, I couldn't carry it home either as my bag was full.I had to find a place where garbage was collected on the road side and throw it. Sometimes, you just have to live with it is my thiking. His reasoning was bad and I feel like whacking him, but sometimes you are helpless.

4. I am from the north-east and not even a foreigner but I have faced this. I feel miserable when I come to know that friends buy stuffs for cheaper. I try to buy from big stores due to this. At least, all of us are cheated. :-) I have learnt the tricks of bargaining now that sometimes, I am unreasonable and end up not buying things.

Durga Nandan said...

Why do we need to talk about foreigners?
They do that to any kind of new comers to the area.
Once, I had been to Delhi and those guys tried to sell me a handicraft for almost triple the price that they quoted for the natives in Hindi.
Till then I was talking to people with me in Malayalam and they must have thought I do not understand what was going on.
I had a good nice chat with the seller in their local slang of Hindi.
I cant imagine the plight of a foreign national.

ZiLliOnBiG said...

yes, these are real shameful cases of double standard you have mentioned.

We have a long way to go. But we have started our journey. Thanks, nice thoughtful post.:)

Hip Grandma said...

Charity begins at home. We in India are outwardly smiling but seething from within on many occasions. While abroad we take care to find out if a friend is free to receive us but in India we walk in unannounced. We may want to stretch our legs and relax but offer a hypocritical smile if the guest asks if he/she was disturbing us. So there is double standard everywhere. That there should be a rule for desis and another for foreigners is a shame. But we seem to be proud of the extra buck made on a particular day. Let this not stop sensitive Indians from doing one's bit. it is bound to fetch results.

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

hahhaa..very nice examples of double standards you have pointed out...

i myself get sooo infuriated when people throw/spit on the roads...
its not about dirtying the place because everyone is doing it...
i know people here in Boston throw pepsi cans,candy wrappers on the road saying that " apna desh to nahi hai na...kya farak padta hai " ....:(
verrry sad and verrry bad

Cilla said...

so true...I was recently covering the monsoon mayhem in mumbai and you should have seen the amount of garbage on the banks of the Mithi...it was horrible...read about my experience here:

no wonder the city faces the problem of clogging drains every year

Gayathri said...

yea true..and those are really shameful..
but not always stuffs are that very bad..i mean,we do treat the foreigners well..

Nazish Rahman said...

Ya definitely i agree with u...even when i went to delhi the person who was selling cold drinks to a foreigner at India Gate charged him quite high price to which he really got angry and told him your a cheater...i really felt bad as it was a wrong message that was being sent...n to this that cold drinks man with his friends was laughing!!

We have to change then only can we expect others to change too...things will change but will take time. Even i unknowingly throw things on road..thats my fault..n from now on will do take care not top do the same!!! Thanks for guiding me....u did your part by posting this and atleast trying to change what is wrong!!

Nona said...

#3 happened to me too. A friend, visiting on vacation, stopped at the paan shop, bought paan and you know what followed. After performing the despicable act, the first thing he uttered without even bothering about my disgusted look was "My country. I can do it. Nobody will ask me not to! But I were in Dubai, I would have been fined or jailed". And our parents used to say "Learn good things from others"!!!!

About #4, I always wondered why there are two rates in India. To a certain extent, I can understand the fast one pulled by the shopkeepers. But our government promptly annouce this on all national monuments! One rate for Indians and another rate for non-Indians!

Aparna said...

Nice post as usual Anju.
People here are not bothered about cleanliness at all. Even if there is a big garbage bin kept nearby, they still throw things on the road.
About the museums, we pay a lot more abroad to visit these places. The foreigners still get away with paying much less here.And if we charge the same amount from Indians, a lot of them will not be able to visit them. Dont forget majority of them will not be able to afford the entry fee. At the same time, the government needs money to maintain these places.Hence the discrimination I guess.Incidentally, in Europe, the people from the EU pay much less than others. This kind of a double standard exist there too.
Sorry for such a long comment.

sm said...

nice post
we have here for everything we got double standards.

JD said...

nice blog here..

people with double standars exist in all countries. Doesn't America or Australia, or England have it's share of racism? Some rules for them and other rules for outsiders.

Every country has their own tourism policy and oursworks in this manner. We are simply comparing dollars to our humble rupee..

But yes, spitting is intolerable an people must be fined fr it..

Anonymous said...

Great Post. I totally agree.I have experienced all of these to at some point in time. Why should only I follow when nobody else follows the rules? Thats the general justification.But if we stopped thinking that way, and do our part, then maybe we can improve. Never otherwise!!!

I hope they don't start charging us like foreigners for seeing places that are also a part of our legacy....

Milan Mehta said...

Its quite frustrating to see these kind of double standards that people have. Specially the NRI, they would get slapped with $500 fine if they do it in North America but what gives them the right to do the same in their home country.
People live like this all the time and don't make a slightest effort to change

Ketan said...

Nice post!

I've also faced the same predicament about waste disposal. I always keep toffee wrappers, etc. in my pockets, but many times it so happens that there'd be no way to dispose something like tetrapak etc, 'cuz there'd be no dust bin around and I'd be forced to 'keep' it at the closest heap of waste.

About the different rates for tickets at tourist places, I think we're forgetting the fact the government is obliged to subsidize the rates for Indian citizens because that money comes from the taxpayers, and foreigners/NRIs don't pay taxes. It's just like how in a private heath-club, the members get everything at concessional rates, but the nonmembers have to pay higher. So, I don't see it as discriminatory. Also, it's the concept of 'free market' that applies here--"I'm willing to sell you the ticket to this museum at Rs. 200, if you're alright with it, buy it, if not, thanks for visiting!". If the same rates were to be applied to Indians, many Indians won't visit those places and the government would go in loss.

Regarding street vendors selling things at higher rates to foreigners, it's discriminatory, no doubt, but then it'd be a different set of double standards if we expect them to have decorum and pride for the nation, where they're unsure of where they'd get the next meal from, who never get to go to schools themselves, who've to pay hefty 'hafta' to local goons and the police. Unless and until we change all that we don't have any moral right to point fingers at them.


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