India Travel News

Arun Sadhu


A Journalist by profession and a renowned author, Arun Sadhu, works with the same passion in both the fields. The precision and convincing power of his reports; alluring yet captivating power of his stories and novels; both are equally enthralling. His news are unbiased while the characters of his novels are real life and absorbing.
Starting a career as a school teacher in a small village of Maharashtra, Arun Sadhu has worked with many news paper from the Times of India, The Statesman and finally as the Editor of the Free Press Journal in Mumbai. At the same time he wrote many novels in Marathi language, Short stories, plays and Biographies, varying on range of subjects from Politics to science fictions and human relationships to history.

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Window on India
October 18, 2006

News Bullets

Wheels of Justice
Superstitions die hard
Miracles never cease to happen and superstitions die hard. Thousands of simple minded believers the other day rushed to witness a 'miracle' in the Western India town of Amravati where a 16-year old Jain Sadhvi 'took samadhi by incinerating herself with her own inner power'. 'Sadhvi' is a female member of a Jain order who takes a vow of clibacy and has devoted the entire life in God's service. She vanished from her living quarters in the dead of night leaving behind a pile of ash shaped like a human body on the bed. There were no other signs of fire or smoke, no stench of the burning flesh. Even the bed had remained intact. Such was the spiritual power of the young Godwoman ! Ergo.... a miracle. People scrambled to take a look and pray. The police were not convinced. Within four days they arrested the 'vanished' nun about 700 kms. away in the town of Sangli along with her friend and lover.

Heady growth &ord collections
The direct tax collections of the government of India which have been growing at an impressive rate of 40 per cent were expected to cross a record figure of Rs.90,000 crore last weekend. Last year, the same figure was Rs. 68,000 crore for the period between April and October 2005.

Indians on buying spree?
It is not the middle class Indian consumers alone who are on a buying spree. Indian corporates seem to be rushing headlong in the world market to purchase big companies. Tata Steel's bid to buy Corus, the seventh largest steel company in the world has made waves across the continents. What has surprised the steel world is that the Tatas have offered buy all the Corus stakes at around dollars 8 billion in cash. The bid, if it comes about, will be India's largest ever global acquisition and make Tata Steel the world's fifth largest steel producer with a capacity of 26 million tonnes.

Elsewhere, Reliance India Limited of Mukesh Ambani is planning to buy a pounds 2 billion Scottish Company, Wood Group, providing international services in offshore oil exploration and deep water engineering.

On a smaller scale, India's Wanbury Ltd; has recently acquired the spain-based pharmaceutical firm, Catabria Pharma at euro 42 million. The acquisition will enable the Indian firm to enter the European generic markets.


No thanks to Government........ - By Arun Sadhu

Many in India were surprised to find that a reputed international agency, Conde Nast Traveller has recently ranked India as the fourth most preferred travel destination in the world. Another agency, the Lonely Planet, has also ranked India among the five most favoured tourist destinations of the global tourists. True, the number of international tourists visiting India has been phenomenally rising. The statistics is impressive: A 45 per cent. growth in foreign tourists in the last three years, foreign exchange earnings from tourism rose from dollars 3.5 billion in 2003 to dollars 5.7 billion in 2005. An interesting reference point is that the actual number of foreign tourists visiting India has risen from 17,000 international arrivals in 1951 to 3.92 billion in 2005. The tourism ministry says this year between January and September nearly 3.06 billion tourists had visited India as against 2.75 billion during the same period previous year.

However, neither the government ministries, nor the tourism departments of various state governments can claim credit for the encouraging trend. The fact is India is a sub-continental nation with a hoary past, interesting history which has left behind impressive foot-prints, an unfathomable demographic heterogeneity and mind-boggling geographical varieties that offer superbly beautiful natural surroundings. And whatever the sociologists and historians might say of the general character of the Indian people, an overwhelming number of foreign tourists - from Hyuen Tsung to Mark Twain and Bill Clinton - find the people here most hospitable, congenial, friendly, warm and delightfully cantankerous. Despite India being a target of the terrorists, an average tourist to India finds the streets of its cities and towns far safer than those anywhere else in the world. Peoples of few nations of the world would be as assimilative and integrationists as the Indians are.

India's awesome ethnic diversity and linguistic plurality has always aroused deep interest and curiosity among the travellers of distant land. Its wonderful monuments, variety of natural beauty, the ancient spiritual heritage and many more attributes make India in itself one of the most attractive tourists destinations. Add to this the new image it has acquired - a robust India economically surging ahead; a rich mine of intelligent knowledge workers; democratic India with a huge army of efficient engineers, managers, lawyers and teachers; and the spiritual India with the Himalayas, the Ganges, the mind-boggling pilgrimages, the Kumbha-Melas and the Godmen.

The fact is the authorities and the people of India have never bothered to exploit even minimally its potential as a tourism destination. There may be sleek communication productions, audio-visual shows, presentations, colourful brouchers and pamphlets and books. But the conditions on the ground are as bad and discouraging as ever. Barring the famous golden triangle of the North, sixty years after independence the powers that be have hardly ever bothered to create even a modest and respectable infrastructure, be it the roads, hotels, surface and air communications or even simple information. Presenting a clean environment at tourist places is never on the mind of the authorities or the local entrepreuners. There is a lack of imaginative planning and innovation. And sadly, the tourism planners have hardly ever tried to look beyond the places of interests promoted a century ago by the British colonizers. The entire North-East can be a fantastic tourist destination if properly developed, never mind the occasional violence or sporadic insurgencies. The Konkan coast of Maharashtra, unbeatable in its beauty and majesty, has still remained a virgin ground. The Narmada and Krishna rivers, the Vindhyas and the Sahyadris, the mountain forts of India.........a large number of areas have remained simply unexplored and undeveloped. from the tourist point of view.

Few think of tourism other than that involving mere sight-seeing which in itself undoubtedly offers vast possibilities. But Indian tourism policy makers have hardly thought in terms of academic tourism, history tourism, literature tourism, culture tourism and so on. Medical tourism has been recently flourishing in India - without much effort on the part of the government or the entrepreneurs. It is because India offers excellent professional skills and reasonably good facilities and hospitals at rates cheaper than elsewhere.

My computer tells me you are using 0.01 per cent of the space. My engineer tells me you are using 0.001 per cent of the facilities and functions offered by your computer. My instinct tells me India is exploiting even lesser percentage of its tourist potential.

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