Writing anything about India, no matter how picayune I think the topic might be, means that I run the risk of offending someone. Someday I’ll write a book about the unique culture of offense that I’ve found in India, but until then, I’ll write about examples that I see in the news. This weekend’s come from pop musician and poverty activist Bob Geldof as well as a senior government official of the Maldives, and an irreverent drummer from the heart of Punjab.
First, Bob Geldof, as reported by India Today:
Irish rockstar Bob Geldof’s remark that he got his “best drugs” from Goa has come under attack from a right wing Hindu organisation which has accused him of hurting national sentiments. While tourism industry players in Goa have said that Geldof’s statement was not in the context of current situation, the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) has filed a complaint with the Irish embassy against the rocker.
Geldof, who was recently in Goa to participate in an event, had claimed that he was happy to be in the state which gave him the “best drugs”. He was referring to the era when he was 14-years-old and used to get drugs from Goa. “Someone told me that these drugs were from Goa,” Geldof had told reporters. Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) President Fransisco de Braganza said that there was no need to take Geldof’s statement as a judgement on the current situation. “It is secondary evidence. He never came to Goa. Somebody told him that those drugs came from Goa. The time line is late 60s,” Braganza said, adding we are all aware that there was hippie culture in Goa at that time.
“It was a different world. It is not a statement which relates to the present period,” he added.