Goa is not just about booze, dance and women, said an organiser of the IFFI in Goa, even as the state has come under spotlight for a sexual assault involving a high profile journalist and a sexual harassment case in the festival arena.
Vishnu Wagh, chairperson of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), a co-organiser of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was speaking to reporters at the festival venue Saturday.
"They (people) come with this pre-conceived notion about Goa's culture. When they come, I don't want them to have any ideas about Goa. Experience the place and then form opinion. Goa is not just about fun and frolic. It is not only about booze, dance and taking girls around. There is more to Goa," Wagh said.
The state has featured in the widely reported gender crime cases across the national media and even internationally.
While founder editor of Tehelka Tarun Tejpal has been accused of sexually assaulting a junior colleague twice in a lift at a five-star resort during a conference organised by the news weekly, a film programmer has accused a deputy director of the union ministry for information and broadcasting of passing sexual innuendo at the film festival venue.
"When people hear of such cases, they feel it happens in Goa (that it is the acceptable behavior) and name of the state gets tarnished," Wagh said.
The Goa government was even forced to hire a public relations agency earlier this year after a string of sex crimes, involving foreigners, rocked the state over the last few years.