Facing Flak For Calling Domestic Tourists 'Scum', Goa Minister Launches Defence

| February 11 , 2018 , 08:14 IST

One of the most popular tourist destinations of India, Goa receives a large number of domestic as well as international tourists. State Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, who faced backlash for calling domestic tourists 'scum of the earth', on Saturday defended himself, giving an example of a tourist urinating from a bus as the reason for his comment.

"I haven't generalised or have been xenophobic. I am speaking for the people of Goa," Sardesai said on Saturday.

The 'scum' comment made by Sardesai on Friday sparked a controversy, with some people accepting that domestic tourists are often unmindful of the concerns of the locals, while others termed his comment as 'derogatory'.

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Sardesai defended his statement, saying that he was quoted out of context and that he had been referring to only a "certain section of them, not all" domestic tourists.

"The people of Goa are disgusted with a few tourists, who come and use Goa as a dumping ground... There are several instances, one of which is a video which has gone viral of a tourist urinating from the bus on one of Goa's most popular and well done roads from Miramar to Dona Paula," Sardesai said.

"A small section of 6.5 million tourists who came to Goa have created the biggest nuisance. These people have no civic sense. There's a general feeling among the people of Goa to reorient tourism to what it was before. Goa's model of development is about low density, high cost; it's not about quantity, it's about quality," he said.

Sardesai, speaking at the Goa BizFest in Bambolim on Friday said, "Today, we have almost six times the population coming into Goa. Those tourists are not the top-end tourists, but scum of the earth."

He specifically warned the locals against North Indians, who are trying to "recreate Haryana in Goa".