Goa is famous for a cheap and quality liquor and thus tourists from the neighboring states flock to this tiny beautiful state on regular basis. The problem does not lie in they coming to Goa, but when they start crossing their limits by drinking in public and abusing the villagers, that is the time it becomes a nuisance. To stop this abuse of tourists, the villagers of Surla have decided to shut down the bars in their village.
As our Indian tradition, we call the Guest a God (Atithi Devo Bhava), but that need not be true all the time. Goa welcomes tourists to the state with an open heart, but when these tourists start to create havoc and nuisance in the state after drinking then there is a need of doing something to prevent it, and the Surla villagers have decided to do the same.
The locals of Surla, who allegedly harassed by the tourists, have decided to seal the bars of their village. In a mega meeting held at the temple of the village, around 200 Gaonkars (the local villagers) attended the meeting and put forth their grievances before the Panchayat. They discussed that the tourists from the neighboring states throng the village to enjoy the Western Ghats and create the nuisance after consuming the liquor.
Surla lies in the Sattari taluka in the village panchayat of Thane on the state’s border with Karnataka. According to the villagers, often tourists from Karnataka buy liquor from the village which is cheaper compared to the liquor sold in Karnataka. The tourists after consuming unstoppable quantities of liquor misbehave with the locals and the women.
This is not the first time the people of Goa are stung by the tourists. Molestation, public abuse, eve teasing and drunk driving have been reported in the past too. The domestic tourists are often framed as those who spoil the name and culture of Goa.
Considering the closure of the bars as a resolution to the ongoing nuisances in the village, the locals signed a letter addressed to Chief Minister Manohar Pariikar demanding seal on the 13 bars from the village. According to The local newspaper The Navhind Times, The villagers alleged that the tourists from Karnataka enter their houses in an inebriated state and misbehave with women. They also claimed that there is no local police patrolling being carried out in their village despite several complaints having been made.
“Once, a person knocked on our door at 2 am to check if liquor is available,” said a woman. A bar owner said that Police patrolling should intensify in the village to avoid such nuisance. There are also cases of mysterious deaths that have occurred in the village forest over the years assuming alcohol as the cause.
The tourism department should look after the wellness of the tourists as well as the locals. Strict actions should be taken against the offenders. It is said that liquor should be consumed responsibly to avoid the law and order situation or community problem. We don’t want to make our tourist unhappy but we also don’t want to ruin our communal harmony.
Although Sulra is the first village in Goa to take such a bold step, we can assume that more villages in the state will follow the trend, and bring the nuisance creating tourists to the task. The other famous villages in Goa, such as Calangute, Candolim, and Baga also needs to take some steps to harness the liquor consumption in the public. What is your opinion on this story? Please do share your suggestions in the comments box below.