No Bikinis on Indian Streets: Tourism Minister to Foreigners

The minister said every country has a “code of conduct” which must be adhered to.

2 min read
The Tourism Minister in an interview to NDTV said “you don’t expect foreigners to walk around in bikinis in our towns”.

For foreigners (and others) looking to sport bikinis in India, tourism minister KJ Alphons has some advice. In an interview to NDTV, the minister said every country has a certain “code of conduct” that must be adhered to by foreigners, which is in tandem with the country’s culture and traditions.

Abroad, foreigners walk the streets in bikinis. When they come to India, you don’t expect foreigners to walk around in bikinis in our towns. In Goa, they do it on the beach. They don’t come to the town dressed like that. You must have a sense of understanding of the culture of the place and country that you go and behave accordingly.
Tourism Minister KJ Alphons to NDTV

The minister, who had earlier said foreigners should eat beef in their own country, argued that when Indians respect the culture of foreign countries when they go abroad, then foreign tourists must also be expected to do the same.

Siting an example, he said that there are cities in Latin America where walking around in bikinis is acceptable. Similarly, when one comes to India, they must respect its culture and tradition and dress “acceptably”.

In reference to his beef comment, he also said he was on a “learning curve” and that politicians must be allowed leeway for the same.

Known as the “demolition man” for his work in the Delhi Development Authority, the Minister asserted that he’s a “liberal” who believes in upholding the rights of people to do what they want, but there must be a “bottom line”.

He added that Indians face a similar imposition in France or Germany where they are often admonished for being too “noisy”. Indians who laugh too loudly at restaurants in these countries are either thrown out or stared at, he said.

(With inputs from NDTV)

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