Friday, February 28, 2014

India: Russian Tourist, 28, Severely Beaten by Indian Mob After Ignorantly Ringing a Sacred Bell in Goa

According to the UK's Daily Mail, Russian tourist Sergey Bogdanov, 28, was vacationing in India and is now recovering from serious injuries after he was reportedly beaten by an Indian mob in one of Goa's coastal villages. 
Bogdanov said the small village seemed “really peaceful” with friendly locals until he decided to visit a temple where he took a few pictures and saw a bell, which he rang.

“Apparently the bell is only rung on sacred days or when somebody dies, and before I knew it there was a mob rushing to the temple and I was dragged out onto the streets and kicked and beaten with sticks,” Bogdanov said.  

“Some monks dragged me away from the mob but they didn’t help me at all, and I had to make my own way to the local medical center where doctors who had heard about my apparently sacrilegious act also refused to help other than giving me a few bandages.”

COMMENT: Bogdanov subsequently contacted his mother in Russia who immediately flew to Mandrem to help him and try to arrange for him to fly back to Russia where he can receive the medical attention he needs.

Bogdanov, who sustained disfiguring gashes and bruises to his face, has since appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a video message and the Russian Embassy in New Delhi pleading for help to get him back home.

As is often said, when you know little of a foreign culture and particularly its religion, don't touch  or do anything and observe locals very carefully. Act or don't act as they do.

One of the downsides for all foreign visitors who travel abroad on a shoestring is in not having the funds or resources to seek competent medical treatment in a developing country and in returning to their home country.

Presumably, it is highly unlikely that former KGB colonel and present day Russian President Vladimir Putin will reveal his compassionate side by sending Mr. Bogdanov a return ticket.

Many foreign ministries, including the US Department of State, routinely enable their citizens to sign a promissory note indicating that they will repay a specific amount by a specific date, although such arrangements are not honored by all governments.