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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. These days, he makes his living playing poker as he works on his second novel.




My Friend Sancho

My first book, My Friend Sancho, was published in May 2009, and went on to become the biggest selling debut novel released that year in India. It is a contemporary love story set in Mumbai, and had earlier been longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2008. To learn more about the book, click here.


If you're interested, do join the Facebook group for My Friend Sancho


Click here for more about my publisher, Hachette India.


My posts on India Uncut about My Friend Sancho can be found here.


Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

The Bird and the Elephant

This is the 30th installment of my fortnightly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. One of the most…

The Cigarette Case

This is the 29th installment of my fortnightly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. One of my favourite…

It’s Only Words

This is the 10th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. A…

The Importance of Profiling

This is the 28th installment of my fortnightly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. Poker at its heart…

The Endowment Effect

This is the 27th installment of my fortnightly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. There’s something strange that…

03 April, 2009

Groping Indians

Has there ever been worse advice given to tourists than the lines below, from the article ‘Dealing With Strangers in India’ in bharatonline’s India Travel Tips Section?

Usually, foreigners are subjected to groping by particularly the Indian men. It is harmless. Just ignore such people and enjoy your trip. Avoid any sort of confrontation, and totally drop the idea of a physical altercation. Indians frown upon the idea of violence and physical fighting is usually a last resort.

This makes groping out to be almost a cultural characteristic, like eating with your hands. I’d speculate that it was either written by an idiot foreigner with a sub-30 IQ, or an Indian molester. Leaving that aside, let me just say that if you are a tourist, anywhere, you should take the opposite attitude. Do not tolerate groping; kick the ass of the person who gropes. The chances are that if you challenge a groper, the other locals will take your side, not his. And in the rare event that it looks likely that they might take his side, you should just get the hell out of there, or find the nearest cop. (Unless the cop is groping, in which case you’re having a spectacularly bad summer.)

Under no circumstances should you simply tolerate it. And if you feel like giving him a kick in the nuts, go right ahead. We have a billion people already in this country, one less procreator is no loss.

If you live in India, and are fed up of such harassment, and you haven’t yet heard of the Blank Noise Project, do check them out. Much worthiness.

(Link via email from Sunil Krishnan.)

Update (April 7): Chandni Parekh, a reader of this blog, quoted from and posted a link to this post on a forum at Karmayog. Mid Day picked up the story, called the company that runs that travel website, and they promptly removed those WTF lines. A good bit of initiative by the reporter.

But why, Hemal Ashar, have you quoted from my post and attributed it to “an outraged reader” at Karmayog? Does the basic journalistic value of attributing a quote correctly not matter to your publication?

Posted by Amit Varma in India | WTF

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