news Saturday, July 12, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | July 12, 2014 | 6.40 pm IST Just as the dust was settling down on the Sharapova brouhaha, comes another rant that should send all Indians running back for cover.  Former Congress Member of Parliament (MP) from Karnataka A.H. Vishwanath has said he opposes Mysore being turned into a Paris as the French capital is known for prostitution.  His comment comes as a retort to a campaign trail pledge by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who addressed a gathering in Mysore on April 6th 2014 underlining India’s massive tourism potential which he placed as a INR three trillion opportunity waiting to be tapped.  Mysore, he said was a city that could provide employment to craftsmen and chaiwalas and pointed to the role the city must play in drawing international tourists. Like Paris. That can be discounted as electoral hype, just like a few years ago all Indian politicians had wanted to convert their respective cities to Shanghai, but the Modi government is in the process of identifying 50 tourist circuits that will promote infrastructure and create jobs.  Mumbai will never be Shanghai, just like Mysore will not be Paris – good or bad. But to say that the French capital is known for prostitution is to insult sex-workers, France, the Prime Minister of India and Indians. It exposes the mind-set of people who think mobile telephones are responsible for rapes, as another Karnataka politician from his own party just said.  Why are we surprised? Vishwanath’s son Pravaj Pratap went on a rampage at a Mysore hotel recently because he was allegedly refused Biryani by the hotel staff at 3 am. The son of the father damaged property and set one hut on fire in the hotel premises.  For the record, some 85 million tourists visit Paris annually. The French government is hoping to reach a target of 100 million soon. India attracted 7 million tourists according to last available data which is 2012. It is unclear how many were prostitutes, how many ate biryani, how many went to Mysore and how many were all three – biryani eating prostitutes from Paris visiting Mysore.  Shame.