Russian and Israeli tourist enclaves in Goa are a threat to the state’s security, according to a think tank patronised by an RSS ideologue.
Dattesh Parulekar, vice president of the Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) in Goa, was speaking about regional enclaves popular with foreign tourists from Russia and Israel along Goa’s coastal belt.
“Obviously, we see this as a threat, but this threat can best be handled by popularising the issue, creating awareness about the issue with the common man,” he said at a press conference here to announce an annual lecture series.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Indresh Kumar is the chief patron of FINS.
Parulekar also said the think-tank was working on a Goa-based defence academy, for which budgetary allocation has already been made by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in the state.
Goa is one of the most popular beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts 2.5 million domestic tourists annually, along with half a million foreign tourists.
Over time, foreign tourists have evolved an affinity for certain beach villages.
While Russians prefer villages like Morjim, Arambol, Ashwem and Candolim, Israelis stay in Anjuna, Vagator and Chapora while on vacation.
While this brought revenue to these areas, in some cases it also resulted in friction between the local community and the tourists, with the locals accusing the foreigners, especially Russians and Nigerians, of running drug and real estate mafias.
According to the last budget presented by then chief minister Manohar Parrikar, the defence academy, which the state government will co-run with FINS, is aimed at facilitating “study in national security and strategic planning”.
Budgetary allocation was also made for the defence academy.