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Proposal to convert all scam sites into tourist destinations

31, Jul 2011 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. With a string of scams coming up in every part of India, the government is mulling over a proposal to turn India’s apparent weakness into strength. Experts believe that India could earn huge amount of tourism revenue if the government converted all the scam sites into tourist destinations.

“The level of corruption in India has been making news and has attracted international attention recently. There is a huge amount of curiosity among the foreigners to find out how India manages its corruption ecology, and they would be willing to travel down to India to witness it first hand,” a report submitted to the Planning Commission argues.

A corruption complaint box in Leh, photo by Carol Haynes
A proposed poster of the latest tourism initiative

The report cites the example of Iceland, where economy was hit badly by erupting volcanoes last year. Iceland has since turned that tragedy into an opportunity by attracting tourists who are visiting the island nation to watch the now dormant volcanoes.

“India had similarly witnessed scams erupting everywhere last year,” the report draws parallels between the two nations, “We can learn from Iceland and invite global tourists to places like illegal mines in Karnataka, Adarsh Housing Society building in Mumbai, and unfinished CWG construction sites in Delhi.”

As per the proposed plan, foreign tourists will get a ‘guided tour’ to witness corruption in India and will be shown around ‘places of interest’. The government appointed ‘guides’ for such tour will completely fleece the visiting tourists to let them have a personal experience of how corruption works and affects the aam aadmi.

“Most of the so-called guides at historical monuments already con tourists, but this will be a government approved loot,” the report clarified, “The tourists will be given all assurance of a safe tour and they will be left high and dry once they repose trust in the establishment; this will make them experience something Indian citizens have been experiencing all these years.”

Apart from scam sites, tourists will also be taken to places like jails and hospitals where the people accused of corruption cases spend times, if not acquitted for lack of evidence, before a final judgment is delivered in the case.

Sources say that the Planning Commission has reacted positively to the suggestion.

“India has this ability to turn her weaknesses into strengths and we think it’s not a bad idea,” Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said, “For long we thought that population was our weakness but we could convert it into our strength, same goes for Bollywood, which we thought was responsible for coming up with crap, but has become a symbol of our soft power now.”

The first batch of tourists is expected to arrive by September this year and the government is hopeful that the anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare would have no impact on the latest tourism initiative.