New Delhi, March 18: Switzerland beckons Indian tourists! Yes, for every Indian visiting Switzerland is a dream come true. The pristine locals of the country is a favourite among the Bollywood filmmakers. And, well-heeled Indians fly in hordes to enjoy a slice of pristine valleys, Swiss chocolates and watches in the western European country.
Official statistics indicate that about 5 lakh Indian tourists visited Switzerland in 2012. Now, Swiss Tourism is expecting an 8 to 10 per cent growth in 2013. The figures sound incredible. And, in "Incredible India" (a slogan coined to attract tourists to India at an international level), when a Swiss couple come, they have to undergo the humiliation of rape and beating.
Instead of solving the case fast, a minister from Madhya Pradesh (where a Swiss woman was gang-raped and her husband beaten up) blames the couple, saying that they should have given prior information to the police about their movements.
The Swiss couple was on a cycling trip in the hinterland of Madhya Pradesh, when allegedly a group of eight lathi wielding men attacked them at a forest area in Datia district on March 15.
The woman was allegedly gang-raped and her husband was thrashed by the men. The woman is said to be in shock. So, is her husband. The 39-year-old woman underwent treatment at a hospital, before she and her husband left for Delhi.
Switzerland government has said it was "profoundly shocked" by the gang-rape of a Swiss tourist in India. In fact, Switzerland has termed it as a "tragic incident". The Swiss government has demanded that necessary action should be taken against all the culprits. Does Indian government has an answer?
Media reports on Monday say that six villagers have confessed to gang-raping the Swiss woman.
"We have arrested six accused persons who raped the Swiss woman and recovered her mobile," SM Afzal, IG, Chambal Range, told media persons.
The six are identified as Baba, Bhutha, Rampro, Gaza alias Brajesh, Vishnu Kanjar and Nitin Kanjar.
In Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Madhya Pradesh, opposition Congress has threatened to make the issue big. Congress has decided to stage statewide protests on Monday, party sources said.
The "adventurous couple" probably did not do their homework well. They should have been aware that in India, rape is a common phenomenon. In spite of so much of hue and cry after the December 16 Delhi gang-rape and murder, nothing has been done to provide security to women. Government is hoping that the passage of anti-rape Bill will solve all the issues related to crime against women.
We have enough law, but no implementation. Does one more law will help to elevate the situation of women in the country? Perhaps no.
In this regard, we should learn something from Switzerland as how to respect and pamper tourists with their hospitality.