To celebrate the New Year along with my family , we went to a restaurant. I asked for a fork and all I got was an attitude.
Attitude is a settled way of thinking about something. It can be further added to state that it is an expression of favour or disfavour towards a person , place ,thing or event. Today,we find display of attitude ( invariably in an abrasive manner) quite commonplace.
Winston Churchil writes,” Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
We boast about ” Incredible India” , but does the country really believe in the philosophy of ” Atithi Devo Bhava”. On one side of the spectrum are world famous trains like -” Palace on Wheels”, ” Fairy Queen”.” Royal Orient Express” and the ” Deccan Odyssey” to name some and on the other side of the faultline are the infamous ” Nirbhaya Rape Case”, abnormal delay in the passage of the Juvenile Justice Act , fleecing of tourists and a general unhygienic and unclean environment. These act as deterrent for the potential tourists visiting and revisiting the country. We imminently need Swacch Minds and Swacch Bharat . Indians have become apparatchik of unholy traditions holding on to geek gadgets. No where men!
The country is blessed with a salubrious climate, a large countryside, extensive coastline, rugged deserts ,majestic forts, marvelous temples and places of worship of different faiths with extraordinary architecture,cool climes of the Himalayas, yet we fail to exploit the true potential of tourism.. Tourism can be a money spinner and generate massive employment.
The problem is our archaic and abrasive attitude.
Thomas Jefferson , once famously said,” Nothing can stop the man with the right attitude from achieving his goal, nothing on the earth can help the man with wrong mental attitude.”
Attitudes consists of the way a person feels and thinks about something ,aswell as the person chooses to behave. Some of the broad components of this human trait are Affective, Behavioral and Cognitive approaches to behaviour.
a) The Affective component of an attitude is the way a person feels about any object, person or a situation . It broadly implies ” emotions” and ” feelings”. It can be zeroed upon as an emotional component. For example an individual may find Hindustani classical music soothing to the ears and uplifting . So such a person gets connected with this genre of music quite easily. However our attitude towards tourism is not sympathetic nor we can empathise with the tourists . Thus we score pretty low on the score .
b) The Behavioual component of an attitude is the action an individual takes with regard to the situation . Now the Hindustani classical loving person would purchase a large cachet of such a collection. He would be attending concerts and watching the programmes on TV . I find our attitude towards tourism industry is that of neglect.We treat our customers is a disparaging manner. Thus the potential tourist gets lost in the maze and labyrinths of irreverent behaviour.
c) Finally the Cognitive component of attitude formation. This is purely the way a person thinks about himself, an object, a situation . Such thoughts , or cognition’s , include beliefs and ideas about the focus of the attitude. An individual would place classical music on a higher plane in comparison to other forms of music and patronise it to the fullest.
Unfortunately , the czars of tourism industry do not even posses this cognitive aspect of attitude formation . They seem to have a low esteem about the entire industry they head and thus cannot project it in a positive manner . Thus on all scales our component of attitudinal behaviour are lackadaisical .
Attitudes are formed through contacts, instructions, interactions with others and observational behavioral patterns.
Tourism in India has a negative connotation and therefore we cannot advertise our product effectively. Further attitudes are formed through direct instructions. Like parents can impress upon children that smoking and drinking are unhealthy vices. Children would over a period of time learn and stave off from these addictions. But the reverse is true of our tourism industry . We beget negativity and there are virtually no learning.
Interaction with people also form an impression on our attitudes. A non smoking parent , peers, siblings have a significant impact on attitude formation of a child. The propensity of the child not to smoke enhances. The recall value of tourism industry is woeful , and moments are captured only on camera or cellphones and not in our minds.
Finally attitudes are influenced by other people in the immediate world and also by the larger world of the education system . However the ecosystem of tourism in India has become so corrupted that the prospective foreign client is put off by the delinquent behaviour.
Interestingly we talk about the ingress of foreigners increasing from 1.7million to 7 million between 1991 to 2013.. But are we making a comparison to countries in South East Asia like China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka ? Absolute numbers mean nothing .
India has to make a clear break away from the past and concentrate as Carl Jung says,” focus on the conscious and unconscious,extraversion an introversion, rational and even irrational ” to rejig our attitudes . Only then can we be a hospitable country.
Yoga and Yoga mats are exported today, so is Spiritualism . May be it happened always………… Buddhism and Vipassana left the shores of this country!
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