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Re: [iinn-l] Re: hello, thanks, and goodbye.

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
[from Moderator. This is an unconventional posting for IPI. However, if
Joseph is interested in joining IPI, and in contributing to solutions,
rather than merely describing India's plight to all of us, I am sure we
would all be very happy. Would Kurien please invite Joseph personally to
join IPI?]

Hi Joseph,

I could not resist the temptation of copying your 
post to a little more 'intelligent' chat group.

I hope this group will not 'chastise' you 'too much'.

This group consists of people who have seen or
can imagine both 'sides' of the fence and therefore
understand your point of view!


Date:          Thu, 14 Jan 1999 11:14:36 -0500 (EST)
From:          Joseph Roberts <roberts6@email.unc.edu>
To:            "Interact Inn All India Mailing List" <iinn-l@lyris.manaskriti.com>
Subject:       [iinn-l] Re: hello, thanks, and goodbye.
Reply-to:      "Interact Inn All India Mailing List" <iinn-l@lyris.manaskriti.com>

Hello everyone, and happy new year. A while back I asked for some
information about the media in India, and in particular the Internet. I
have finished my paper and recieved a pretty good grade in the class B+,
So I just wanted to thank everyone who responded to my questions, in
particular George Penner, Saritha Rai, Ravi Talvar, and Srinath Srinivasa.
Your comments were very insightfull and thought provoking, and more than a
few found their way into my paper (properly cited of course). This is the
last message i will post to the forum so their is no need to chastise me
for posting a personal message. 

I have just returned from my trip to India, and i was going to go into a
brief but searing tirade about the poverty, corruption, and multitudes of
people, but i figured what's the point. You all know that, and are
intelligent enough to know that change is necessary, but  it doesn't come
easy. Besides India will never be like the west, it can't be. Not because
it is incapable of solving its problems, but because it is India. Besides
i kind of miss all of the excitement. Just walking down the street to pick
up my daily bottle of mineral water was quite an adventure. First I would
make my way through the taxi drivers, who always hung outside of the
touriste hotels, then came the beggers, they pegged me for a sucker right
away and were always very adept at squeezing a couple of rupees out of me;
then came the children with their ubiquitous chant "Hello - Ruppee", I
have always been a softee so the children usualy helped me part with a few
more rupees. After the children, came the shop keepers and various con
artist who always started out being very kind and helpful; but it was a
fake kindness and easy to see through. They just wanted me to buy
something or offered to show me the town, for a small fee of course. So
often in India i felt like I had a neon sign plastered to my forehead that
read:Stupid tourist please feel free to relieve him of his ruppees"
Okay so I am a little bitter,and with good reason. At every monument,
park, kiosk,hotel, restaurant,it was all the same pay, pay, and pay some
more."Oh your a tourist, so instead of paying 5 ruppees to
gain entrance
to the park, you have to pay one hundred, wait you have a camera, thats
another 50 rupees please." Then once you were inside, came the waves of
fake guides, beggers, and peddlers. All of this was made worse by
discovering that most of the money collected at the entrances of national
monuments and parks goes into some corrupt bureaucrat's pocket, and not
the upkeep of the parks. All lot of the monuments were in a state of
decay, not because of natural wear, and tear but from vandalism and poor
upkeep. It is a shame to so many beautiful things go to waste, and be
exploited,all for the sake of making a few rupees.  

Sure all countries take advantage of tourist. We do the same thing here,
by jacking up hotel prices around famous monuments,and selling worthless
trinkets in gift shops to unsuspecting tourist. Yet like so many things in
India it is magnified 100 fold. 

India is a beautiful country, and I meet some lovely people there, i think
that it is just going through a rough period right now, and in the future
it will be better. It is trying to find a role for itself in the modern
world, it is confused and doesn't quite know which way to go. It is torn
between following the western path of development, or making its own way.

Now i will climb off my soap box and say goodbye. 


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