Fatehpur Sikri assault on Swiss couple makes a mockery of 'Atithi Devo Bhava' motto

Date:2017-10-27 15:19:41

Published By:Jayesh

New Delhi: A country which has mouthed ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (visitor or tourist is akin to God) for centuries is increasingly witnessing attacks on foreigners who come exploring India’s rich cultural heritage. The latest in a series on shameful attacks on foreigners is the assault on two Swiss tourists near Fatehpur Sikri, a town just west of Agra founded by Mughal emperor Akbar.

Agra also houses the world famous Taj Mahal. Tourists normally combine a visit to the Taj with a walk around the majestic red sandstone buildings of Fatehpur Sikri. While the jury is out on whether this particular incident occurred due to moral policing by the local ruffians or whether it was merely a wish by some boys to click selfies with a ‘gori’ woman, the incident has left a deep scar on the tourism potential of India in general and Uttar Pradesh in particular. The Swiss tourists were chased, attacked with stones and sticks and suffered injuries which needed hospitalisation.

 

This is anyway not the first such incident where locals, touts and travel industry professionals have harassed foreigners and may sadly not be among the last such mishaps. In Delhi, which incidentally holds the dubious distinction of having the largest number of reported crimes against foreign tourists, one routinely witnesses foreigners being chased, abused and cheated by taxi operators, auto drivers and touts. Not just at popular tourist locations like the Red Fort or the Qutub Minar but also in busy markets like Saket and even Connaught Place. The same urge to harass and defraud ‘goras’ overtakes people in Agra and elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh.

 

 

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