It’s a super-premium brand, a couple of scoops of which can set you back by a few hundred rupees but every single bite you take will be worth your money. I love Haagen Dasz ice-cream. Therefore, I was shocked to read that Indians were not allowed at their first retail store in Delhi!!!!!
The store in Saket, New Delhi put up a sign saying : “Exclusive Preview only for International Travelers. Access restricted only to holders of international passports.”
This is for real, people. And it’s shocking not to mention outrageous. I wonder which idiot advised the company to adopt such a ridiculous policy, or whether General Mills, the conglomerate that owns Haagen Dasz, knows of this in the first place!
This is a direct hark back to the British Raj when “Indians & dogs” weren’t allowed inside restaurants and other “white” places. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that the franchise owner is an Indian from Delhi. Since the news leaked out, he’s taken the sign off and even insists there was no such sign in the first place, but the picture above proves otherwise. The man who took it, an Indian & a friend of The Times of India’s Rajesh Kalra, wasn’t allowed to enter the store inspite of being an international passport holder because he’s an Indian. So essentially this store was denying entry to everyone of Indian origin!
I can’t fathom what exactly Haagen Dazs was trying to convey through such a policy – that Indians are not worthy enough to be the first patrons of their store in India? That we can’t afford their ice-creams? Well, in that case the company should take their business elsewhere, should they not? Or that Indians will blindly lap up any product that has been endorsed by foreigners?
What would be the correct response on our part as a nation? Would a public apology from Haagen Dasz be enough, or should the company not be allowed to do business in India at all? The second option would mean a loss for Indian consumers – because Haagen Dasz ice-creams ARE heavenly - but then the company HAS adopted a racist approach by looking down at Indians as people who can’t afford their products or people who are still reeling under slave mentality and think a product that is endorsed by foreigners will surely be good. Should we as Indians encourage such a company to flourish on our land?
It would be very comforting to know that it's not the company Haagen Dazs that came up with such a policy but a stray Indian who tried to play on the racial insecurities of an entire nation that was once a victim of racism.