India’s bad Image for female non-Indian Travelers – 20 Jan 14

Indian culture

Last week we got the news that a female Danish tourist in Delhi was gang-raped after she had got lots of her way home to her hotel one night. Obviously, it is horrible to hear about this. And unfortunately this is not a one-time, single incident, it is one of many cases of rape and sexual harassment that have been reported over the past months!

There may be people saying that this woman, who walked home alone from a museum in the dark, should not have asked a group of men for help. There may be people saying she should have walked back the way she came instead. There may be some saying that she shouldn’t have got lost in the first place or not have booked into a hotel in that area.

The reality is however: rape is never the fault of the victim. It just should not happen. You should not need to be afraid of asking someone for help! You should be able to walk the roads without fear, even by night and also alone, as a woman, no matter of which nationality. That is a fact that is true for me for any country out of India as well. It should not happen.

Unfortunately, the image of Indian hospitality is getting dark stains these days when such events repeatedly occur in this country. The result is something we have increasingly been seeing and hearing from our female western guests: women are afraid of travelling to India. Here is the example of an email that we recently received:

"I also would like to have some advice about the danger of traveling alone in India, cause I've never been before and I've read some reports saying that men in India suffer some kind of sexually starvation because of the traditional culture, a girl was raped on a bus, etc., so I'd like to know if it's safe to get buses, trains, walk on the streets without being chased. or robbed…could you give me some advice about that? Thanks and all the best for all of you. Love, ******* "

Please note that this is not the first time we get such an email! It is normal now and when those women finally arrive here, they are still full of questions for their safety, how they should behave and more! I can understand because it is a part of India’s reality today.

When I go out here, in India, with my European wife and some friends, including more white women, I can see how the crowd looks at them! It doesn’t seem right, there is no respect in the eyes of the average man who looks at them walking by! This is my own personal experience when I am out with my friends and if I can feel this, you can imagine what these women will feel! They are sensitive towards these glances already – so what about a crowd, where nobody knows whose hand this just was that touched their bottoms? Or a dark street on the way home – isn’t it obvious that there is a certain amount of fear?

In spite of all of this however, I still want to say yes, come to India. In the next days, I want to tell you about the roots of this problem, I want to write an appeal to Indian men and finally I want to give all of those non-Indian female travelers a few tips for travelling in India as a white woman. I believe it won’t be the regular advice you can read everywhere these days because it is first-hand experience of my German wife and me. Follow my blog entries of the next days to read more.

Comment (1)

  1. Menon

    truly the fact all this is happening to our guests too is heartening esp in a country where guests are taught to be treated as gods…

Leave a Comment