A couple of incidents that happened over the last one and half years.
A few months ago while me and my colleagues were crossing the road a car driven by two teenagers, both blonde, (probably some expats kids) nearly ran us over. They stopped the vehicle and cheekily peeped out of the window to see our reaction. However they accelerated off recklessly at dangerous speed when some guys from my office who witnessed this incident ran towards them in rage.
Last month, just as we were nearing the Cubbon Park traffic junction, the traffic lights turned yellow. A bike with two guys who were near the signal slowed down and stopped on seeing the yellow lights. Right behind them was a Tempo Traveller driven by a foreigner. The vehicle was carrying four Great Danes, probably his pets. The white man was furious when he saw the biker slowing down. He pulled down his window and swore at the bikers fluently gesticulating obscenely. He was angry that the biker didn't jump the light thus holding him back too.
Last year in Mumbai the head of a large MNC abuses an Indian who overtook him by calling him a “bloody Indian”. The incident was reported in the papers however the foreigner got away with an apology.
Earlier this year in Ooty a rashly driven Scorpio (again a white man) nearly ran down a lady carrying firewood on the road. He too stopped to abuse the poor lady before driving off in rage.
In Kodaikanal last year while trekking we came across a huge house amidst a fruit plantation. We were warned by the locals to keep away from the fortress like house as the people who owned the land (Germans) owned ferocious dogs (to keep out the “natives”). The dogs had apparently grievously injured a kid and another woman who had gone to collect firewood in the Estate. Collecting firewood in the Nilgiris is not considered encroaching. In fact quite a few foreigners have bought land in the Nilgiris and you can make out their property with the imposing high walls and patrolling dogs.
On my recent Goa trip, I was witness to yet another incident. After browsing through the famous Flea Market my brother and me came across a Pizza joint. As we sat with our beers waiting for the rest of the family to join us the other tables soon filled up with foreigners. The topic of discussion at the table next to me was about the “awful lot of Indians coming to Goa!!” Many of these foreigners here were “service providers” for the foreign tourists. They ran tattoo parlors, hair braiding parlors, organized tours etc etc. We were told by the owner of the pizzeria ( a Goan) that the locals rarely interfered with these foreigners. The tourism industry here was run by the foreigners for the foreigners with the help of a few Indians.
A disconcerting scene at the same pizzeria. An old Frenchman covered in Rudraksha with a small girl in tow and that of another young man with another small child. Both kids looked like laborers kids.
Another incident in Goa. A religious procession carrying a statue of some Christian Saint is being carried to another house in a procession. A group of foreigners all youngsters, hoot and jeer at the procession.
Go to the outskirts of Bangalore where foreigners are farming huge tracts of land. The produce of these land range from flowers to fruits to vegetables is flown out of the country by private cargo aircrafts. The seeds and pesticides bought in by these people are unregulated I am told. (But this is an unverified report)
I have nothing against foreigners in fact there quite a few of them in my company and they make excellent people to work with. But when I was in Goa I was told that the tourist industry has been virtually taken over by foreigners and was dangerously out of control of the State Government. The main reason behind this was the strong network that these people establish exploiting the loopholes in the system. In fact the newspapers in Goa were simmering with reports of foreigners running illegal businesses in Goa leading to a lot of local discontent. (Please note the word illegal)
Our people have found jobs abroad when opportunities were scarce here. So we should extend the same welcome to people from other countries too. But the haughty attitude towards “natives' is disconcerting. Besides we have a virtually non-existent system of keeping track of foreigners and their activities here.
So India is a land of opportunities now? Opportunity for what?