No Indians allowed. Only foreigners

I and a couple of my friends undertook a trip to Pondicherry to spend our Ugadi weekend in this coastal holiday destination. It was a road trip which was decided on the spur of the moment with the intention to break free from the rush of the stressful life we lead in Bangalore city. Hence, our accommodation at ‘Pondy’ (the slang used by the young city crowd to refer to this holiday destination which was a former French colony) was not reserved in advance. After a long road trip and a frustrating, futile search for a suitable sea facing hotel in the main town of Pondy we decided to take our chance and find a beach cottage or shack along the East Coast Road (ECR) which connects Pondicherry to Mahabalipuram.

After twenty minutes on ECR, we reached a stretch of highway running adjacent to the seashore lined with shacks and cottages. We stopped our car and walked down to the sandy beach to book our stay at the popular Auroville Waves resort. Also, it had been nine long hours since our last meal and we were very hungry. We were told that the cottages at the Waves were fully occupied and maybe we could try our luck at Muthu‘s resort which was adjacent to it. With hungry stomachs, we prodded our way under the afternoon sun towards Muthu’s in the direction given to us by the lady who was at the Waves.

In front of us was a stretch of beach filled mainly with foreigners. And there was a rope running from the road towards the waters separating that part of the beach from the stretch of the coast opposite the Auroville Waves. It seemed like some sort of demarcation and there was a board with a message written in Tamil. None of us knew Tamil and we walked towards the other side of the rope. At that moment, we heard whistles from a nearby shack. There were two men in Security uniform and a hefty man who resembled like some of the bouncers in Bangalore Pubs. All the three men were Indians. They made signs which indicated us to keep away from this stretch of Beach. Confused, we decided to walk up to them and find out what was the issue.

“What is the problem?”

“You can’t come to this part of the beach.”

“Why?(Still confused)”

“No Indians allowed here. Only Foreigners”.

“What!(Shocked).” “But we want to look for accommodation here.”

“No accommodation.”

“(Still recovering from the shock)Okay. But we are very hungry and have travelled a long way from Bangalore. We will have lunch here.”

“No lunch served here. Only Snack Bar.”

“Okay, fine. We will have snacks then.”

“Don’t enter from here. Come from the back entrance facing towards the road.”

“Why? we’ll enter from here”

“No, you can’t! Enter from the other side.”

At this point, we felt humiliated and walked out of that place. It was shocking to receive such a treatment in India for the simple reason of being an Indian. It is high time we stopped pointing fingers at the West for racial discrimination we are subjected to in foreign countries. We ourselves are discriminating our own people based on race.

This definitely was the worst, but not the first time I had experienced racial discrimination. In the past, I had faced a similar issue in Goa, which coincidentally is also another beach holiday destination drawing lot of foreign tourists and is also a former European colony. And incidents of such racial discrimination are experienced by other Indian domestic travelers too. Ryan Lobo, a documentary photographer writes in his blog( http://www.ryanlobo.blogspot.com/ ) about such a local racial discrimination he was subjected to in his place of birth, Goa. In a restaurant, when he questioned the waiter for overpricing a meal, the waiter shot back at his taxi driver telling him not to bring Indians as they only want to serve foreigners.

It is hurting to know that such incidents are happening in some of the most famous holiday destinations of our country. It is understandable that foreign tourists constitute a Major income for the people involved in the hospitality business in these places. But should that translate to contempt for your countrymen?

I only hope that the sign board with a message written in Tamil on that sandy beach off the ECR did not translate to “Indians and dogs not allowed”. Such a sign are memories from the pre-Indian independence era and let it remain so. Touch wood!

Nishant Ratnakar
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Nishant Ratnakar

Photographer | Visual Storyteller at www.nishantratnakar.com
Nishant is a Bangalore, India based Wedding, Portrait & Editorial Photographer. He is available for assignments across India. He also conducts photography workshops and offers personal photography mentorship.
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21 Comments on "No Indians allowed. Only foreigners"

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u know who :)
Guest

dude.. i still think we should have belted those bastards đŸ™‚

u know who :)
Guest

dude.. i still think we should have belted those bastards đŸ™‚

Santhosh Adiga
Guest

We should a hidden camera expose, with a phirang and Indian to record their attitude.

Dancing Girl
Guest

Is that not illegal? It reminds me of South Africa. Flip me. It reminds me of when I was in Kenya. I was treated better than the locals, by the locals, because I have white skin. It drove me demented. But remember, not only do women have to put up with racial discrimination but also gender discrimination. Crazy.

Dancing Girl
Guest

Is that not illegal? It reminds me of South Africa. Flip me. It reminds me of when I was in Kenya. I was treated better than the locals, by the locals, because I have white skin. It drove me demented.

But remember, not only do women have to put up with racial discrimination but also gender discrimination. Crazy.

Anonymous
Guest
Dude, I completely agree with you on the discrimination part . I myself have been a victim of it in the very location you mentioned. But for every Nishant Ratnakar there are ten anti social elements who get added pleasure in troubling , teasing and taunting whites .Do you think they would have put such restrictions without having had serious problems in the past ?Already the image of India as a tourist destination has taken a lot of beating with the numerous intances of conning and molesting by our “country men”.After all this we will still hold our head high… Read more »
Sunthar
Guest

We should tight the security ,and heavy punishment have to give for that anti-socials , should not stop indian in india anywhere…

Anonymous
Guest
Dude, I completely agree with you on the discrimination part . I myself have been a victim of it in the very location you mentioned. But for every Nishant Ratnakar there are ten anti social elements who get added pleasure in troubling , teasing and taunting whites .Do you think they would have put such restrictions without having had serious problems in the past ? Already the image of India as a tourist destination has taken a lot of beating with the numerous intances of conning and molesting by our “country men”.After all this we will still hold our head… Read more »
mouna
Guest

good heavens!! that’s so rude, mindless!! how can one be mistreated to this extent, forget foriegners, it is the natives!!

mouna
Guest

good heavens!! that’s so rude, mindless!! how can one be mistreated to this extent, forget foriegners, it is the natives!!

Hari Shenoy
Guest

Check this out and check this out too. I experienced the same thing when we had been there for New Year’s eve. It sucks totally, and is probably illegal.

Hari Shenoy
Guest

Check this out and check this out too. I experienced the same thing when we had been there for New Year’s eve. It sucks totally, and is probably illegal.

Siva
Guest

Pal…I was in Pondy over the last weekned. And I too had the same feeling like living in “Raj” Days after visiting that beach. But one of my friends who accompanied is a localite and he said that foreigners used to have harrowing experience there previously. He said people used to stand near and stare at firangi babes taking sun bath. May be that’s the reason, they have such kind of setup. I could the sense the kind of discomfort they feel, when surrounded a gang of beggars wherever they go.

Siva
Guest

Pal…I was in Pondy over the last weekned. And I too had the same feeling like living in “Raj” Days after visiting that beach. But one of my friends who accompanied is a localite and he said that foreigners used to have harrowing experience there previously. He said people used to stand near and stare at firangi babes taking sun bath. May be that’s the reason, they have such kind of setup. I could the sense the kind of discomfort they feel, when surrounded a gang of beggars wherever they go.

Santhosh Adiga
Guest

We should a hidden camera expose, with a phirang and Indian to record their attitude.

Sand
Guest
Dear Anonymous, you speak of the number of whites being teased and molested in our holiday destinations. Live in the West and you will know the harrowing experience the Indians are going through every single day there. Do not think their legal machinery is super efficient. Racism, rape, burglary is common out there and the soft targets are Indians and the police often ignore it. It’s just that the media is kept in full control there and they don’t keep lashing out everything in newspapers like ours. And believe me in a country which is more orthodoxly dressed, these foreign… Read more »
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[…] After Goa, Pondicherry is probably one of the most famous coastal getaways in India. The pristine beaches surrounded by the beautiful French and and Indian architecture make it a preferred location for both Indians and foreigners. But just like in Goa some beaches have been demarcated exclusively for "Foreign Nationals". […]

Premnath Krishnan
Guest

i am from pondicherry,there is nothing wrong with this. there are many
other beaches to see, go and spend your time. that particular beach is
for to take sunbath for forigners and you know what will happen if some
cheap minded people enter!

Ess Arc
Guest

There are many other countries for people like you to immigrate to. Why don’t you go there instead?

Ess Arc
Guest

Shocking story. I can sympathize with this as I have myself faced this in many tourist hotspots where they prefer to serve foreigners only and are quite blase about it. Legally all beaches are public spots and no one can be stopped. There is no concept of private beach in India. This is illegal.

Naveen Haridas
Guest

WTF…. an indian cannot roam freely in his own country?…. tell me dude… what will happen if these sunbathing coloured people visits a country like Saudi….. i’ll tell you…no discrimination, no sun baths, abide by the rules to put it bluntly..

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