India Through the Eyes of a Foreign Tourist

When a tourist comes to India, it is believed that, he already has some preconceived notions about India. Some know India as the country of elephants, some know it as a country of serpents, while still others come with the idea that, India is a country of forests. Though all these things do exist in India but, India is not only these. Thus, I am sure that, even a tourist from the most advanced country will be surprised to way. The concept I am sure changes and then India is not only remembered for its wild animals and jungles.

A tourist from a foreign country has certainly got an itinerary, when he comes to India. His plans must of course ensure his visits to the large cities on the one hand and places of interest, on the other. In general, places to be visited must be the four metro cities and some other smaller places which have locations of special interest. Towns like Jaipur, Cuttack, Hyderabad, Srinagar must find place in the programme of the tourist.

These visits of a variety of places will surely give a foreign tourist a medley of views of India. I am sure when he visits the Metros, he will be impressed by the glamour there. He is sure to wonder why India is called a poor country and he wonders where the poverty is. When he visits place like Jaipur, Cuttack, Bangalore, Calcutta, he is sure to be amazed at the wonderful handicrafts of each of these places. Our cottage industries are sure to make him think of how well the craftsmen must be making the buck, with an art which is only theirs. Tie and dye, block painting, filigree work, silver work, embroidery work all so beautiful and peculiar to a place, then, why there be any poverty in any place. He must be highly impressed with the variety of arts existing in India. When the tourist visits there places and lives in 5-Star Hotels his wonder will know no bounds – he is sure to think and rightly so that, India is not at all poor, and also that, India has so much versatility, why should it ever suffer of shortages of any kind. In the hotels he sees coffee shops, restaurants, style and expensive living, and he is as comfortable as he could expect to be in any of the advanced countries of the world. He is totally nonplussed at what he sees, and wants now, to confirm whether India is truly a poor country, as he had heard? He wonders why India is called a Third World County, a progressing country, for, it seems to have all that the progressed counties have.

This totally confuses him, and he now wants to know why India is known to be a Third World Power. He poses this problem to his tourist guide, whom he requests to take him now to places where poverty exists, in India. This desire he has, just to be able to assess for himself the truth about India. The guide takes the tourist to a backward village, and Aha! Here is the poverty of India, that he was looking for. The children are seen roaming about in the village naked and bare footed, elders lazily sitting in Chaupals, and the women slogging to get even water. Now he sees real India, for, India really lives in the villages. He sees a long queue of women, and asks what is happening, and is shocked when he is told that, the serpentine queue of women is standing just to collect buckets or pitchers of water for the day. Now, the tourist is inclined to believe what he had heard about India, and its poverty.

So much for the rich and poor of the country but what now strikes even this outsider is why this yawning gap in the rich and the poor? Rich and poor, he argues to himself exist everywhere, but, nowhere has he ever seen so much difference. He just wonders and keeps the question in his mind, to be asked at some later time from someone who can enlighten him on the subject.

He had heard when he was leaving for India that, India is a country very rich in monuments. He now visits the Qutab Minar, in Delhi, the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, and the Taj Mahal in Agra. Besides these, he sees many many more monuments, and is once again highly impressed by the unending list of tourist attractions in India. These sites impress him and he once more feels that India cannot be poor. A country with such a rich heritage can, he feels never be included among the poor countries. Oh! What a country, and what a glorious past.

On his visit to India a tourist may also like to visit some of our technical establishments, and he is sure to be satisfied with the progress. However, together with the growth of the country, which he appreciates, he is shocked beyond apprehension when he looks the indiscipline on the roads, the beggars on the roads, and the dust and rubbish most unscrupulously spread all over the road. To cap it all, when he visits the passport and visa offices, and the officer-in-charge does not even spare him from the share of a bribe, the tourist is totally heartbroken, and also realizes that India is also corrupt. He understands that this corruption must be the cause of the gap between rich and poor and thus automatically realizes how the poor must be becoming poorer. With a heavy heart, he decides that, he will now return and come some other time to see that the poor have a better deal in India.

Thus, when a tourist visits India, he is sure to have a mixture of feelings, and takes with him a cross section of memories of India. He can never forget the charming and attractive tourist resorts, the rich and well – to – do clients of the 5 – Star Hotels, and the poor beggars on each crossroad in India. The monuments he saw were a treat for his eyes, and seeing them enhanced in his mind, the prestige of India. At the same time the bitter pill of corruption in India, he cannot swallow. He realizes that, this must be so much rampant in India when, he, a tourist from a foreign country was also not spared of the evil. What he must be thinking of the future of this country is easy to be anyone’s guess. He will surely have taken the idea that, India has a very rich heritage a rich legacy but, today it is in shambles, living just on its past glory.


Today, I’d say, India is a conglomeration of problems galore, some problems are of an indigenous mature while some others are imported. Some of our problems defy all solutions, at Least for the present, some can be solved but are not allowed to be done so. While still some others can be very simply solved with just a Little bit of thinking. Thus, India today is a kaleidoscopic picture of problems a many.

Let us first consider some of the indigenous problems, i.e. problems of our own creation. This quality of problems ate found in all spheres of our existence, political, social, national and international. On the political side our main problems is that, for the last fifty years India has a continuity of not only a bad Government but, absolute lack of governance. This problem is of an indigenous mature as, riles are ours, Constitution is ours, the ruled are ours, and the rulers are ours, yet, there is complete lack of governance. For this misfortune the reasons are not far to seek. The rulers have lost the caliber and character through the last few decades and a decadence of the Government has taken its toll. Besides, the rulers are not only incapable but are also corrupt. All these years, the Government has only meant biting into the public exchequer. Those who are in top positions are busy making money and this has meant the money making spree spread to the lowest level of the working class. So, this problem of our own maiming has resulted in complete decadence of the Government machinery and absolute halt of the Government machinery. There is not a single department of the Government that is not flourishing on double and triple incomes.

On the social front we have created havoc for ourselves. In our craze for going the Western way, we have destroyed our biggest social asset of the past ages the family. India has been known throughout the world for its most lovable institution the family, in which the elders found solace and the children found a fountain of love. In our attempt to modernize we have ourselves dealt a death blow to our institution of family. Elders are no more a part of the family, they are just discarded people to be dispensed with, at the earliest opportunity. While the children of the family, who have always been the apple of the eyes of the elders are now seen languishing in creches, from the tender age of one year or two years. The commendable strides we have taken in the education and empowerment of women has rendered the little child bereft of love and care of a mother.

In society, we already had ills like the system of dowry, sati, treatment of women as slaves, and, with our own hands we have added another evil of the breakup of the family, in our zest to import problems which were never ours. Education of women has undoubtedly given our women more liberty, knowledge and jobs but it has cost us very dear. In this bargain we also created a now, never talked of section in our society, the section of senior citizens. Senior citizens always existed with the younger generation of any given time, but, never were they a problem for the society at any time. On the role and position of senior citizens, a number of debates are being held, and the problem defies all solutions. This is because the problem is alien to us. This problem is also an offshoot of imports from the western world.

In our society, the stigma of belonging to the Scheduled Class still remains, though it is an indigenous problem, we have added to its magnitude by our zeal for providing equality for all. The equality never came but the Scheduled Class has become a pampered lot, always on the demanding side and adding to the country’s problems. This class has become. Such a problem that by being pampered, they have started feeling that, they can ask for anything and get away with it, and if their demands are not met with, they know that they can hold the country to ransom.

On the social horizon, our population belies all solutions. When ever this problem is taken up seriously, it causes hiccups to all and sundry. If this continues, I think by the first decade of the 21st Century we will find it impossible to cope with the multi core population.

Besides this, the society in India is very sharply divided between the Haves and the Have knots. With all the wealth of the country getting so accumulated in a few hands the rest of the populace find it difficult to even make two ends meet. Such a magnum gap is not visible between Haves and Have Nots anywhere else in the World. On the Economic front, India has numerous problems the very obvious being the distribution of wealth which is too uneven for the feeling of any general progress. We are in debt, our economy is running in deficit and our trade has come down.

Source by Manoj Mathew

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