After facing much flak for terming the domestic tourists visiting Goa as the “scum of the earth”, Goa Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai on Saturday released a video message online clarifying that he was critical of only a section of tourists visiting Goa.
The Fatorda MLA stated that he was quoted out of context. “I had not called all the 6.5 million tourists visiting Goa the scum of the earth. I had said certain sections of them were creating nuisance and were actually the scum of the earth and that we should not have such tourists in Goa,” he said.
The Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister went on to mention that 50 years after Goa voted to not merge with Maharashtra, the state is staring at a scenario of being gobbled from within due to the increasing presence of non-Goans in its tourism sector. “Tourism is also not left with the Goans. Fifty years back, some people were trying to merge Goa with Maharashtra, but now we are looking at a scenario where we are gobbled up from within and we will have to espouse these sentiments,” he said.
Sardesai also said that the emphasis needs to be laid on quality of the tourists visiting the state and not the quantity. “We want to retain the unique identity of Goa when it comes to architecture, ethos, tolerance, but at the same time, we do not want to develop Goa in a way that it is only about numbers and not about quality,” he said.
The minister said there was a general feeling among Goans that the state’s tourism sector needs to be re-oriented. “I am speaking on behalf of the people of Goa. We may be laidback but we will not be laidback about this. I cannot be apologetic about this. My party is willing to bell the cat,” he added.
Sardesai clarified that this was not about xenophobia. He claimed to be speaking on the behalf of Goans.
Information credit: PTI
Image credit: vijaysardesai.in