news Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | March 4, 2015 | 8.49 am IST The memory of how a festival to promote tourism organized by the government on a little island off the Karnataka coast went terribly wrong still appears to be haunting the state government, culminating in an order that appears to be wary of foreigners and seeks to “protect Indian culture”. In February 2012, the BJP state government was embarrassed when a festival to promote tourism especially among foreigners ended with the media reporting on the so-called “debauchery” and “obscenity” at the event, including a video of a couple apparently having sex during the festival. The Spring Zouk festival had been organized by the Udupi district administration on St Mary’s Island, off the coast of Udupi. Now that the inquiry has been concluded, the Congress government in power now has come out with a list of rules that are apparently designed to “protect Indian culture” among other things. Titled “Guidelines to be followed when organized national or international music festivals or any other tourism related event”, the gazette notification lists 28 rules to be followed. The rules listed by the Gazette notification which The News Minute has a copy of will apply all over Karnataka, except Bengaluru urban district. Along with other routine regulations such as cleaning up the place after the event, ban of plastic, and other materials that are harmful to the environment, and avoiding disturbing the public, the department seems to be especially wary of foreigners participating in any event organized for the promotion of tourism in the state. “If foreign tourists are participating in the programme permitted by the tourism department, their personal details must be collected,” the order says. The order also stipulates that such events must be concluded by 10 pm. Another rule towards the end of the list says that when permission is granted, it must be stipulated that the organizers must video graph the event and collect an acknowledgement from the department after they have submitted the footage. The rule also says that if necessary, the police and department of tourism too, would separately video graph the event. The department also prohibits smoking, alcohol consumption, consumption of banned substances in public places at programmes permitted by the tourism department. Should such activities be brought to light, legal action would be initiated. One of the considerations for granting permission would be a police report on the law and order assessment.  The order also mandates that an official from the district administration is to be appointed to the event. During the course of the event if any untoward incident, vulgarity, smoking, drinking is noticed, then the programme is to be immediately concluded. When giving permission, the department should place as a pre-condition that the organizers must not do anything that is against Indian culture. Any event, such as music festivals and similar events related to tourism will come under the rule Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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