New Delhi's unashamed prejudice towards the North East region resurfaced on Sunday when a governess was shunted out of the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) for wearing a Jainsem, a traditional dress worn by the indigenous Khasi women in Meghalaya.
Tailin Lyngdoh had gone to the Club along with her employer Nivedita Barthakur as they were invited for luncheon by a long-time member of the DGC.
However, 15-20 minutes into the lunch, two Club officials asked Lyngdoh to leave as her attire resembled a "maid's uniform" and they also allegedly hurled racial abuse at her.
"We were invited for lunch at the Club. We were all seated and the lunch was almost to be served. Suddenly, the Club officials came to me and asked me to leave the place," Lyngdoh told IANS.
"I inquired the reason. They told me that the dress (Jainsem) I was wearing was a maid's uniform. They even said that I looked like a dustbin," said a visibly upset Lyngdoh, who hails from Meghalaya's Langtor village.
"I have travelled almost all over the world and several parts of India and eaten food in the best hotels and clubs. But no one has hurled abuses on me or commented on my dress."
The Club president, Siddharth Shriram, told IANS that he had no knowledge of the incident and had received no complaint. The secretary, Rajiv Hora, did not take repeated calls from IANS.
Barthakur, who is an entrepreneur and advisor to the Assam government, told IANS that they had a lunch invitation from her friend.
"We explained to them about the dress... I am appalled that a citizen of India is judged on her dress and treated as a pariah," she said.
"I am astounded over the Delhi Golf Club episode. It was a bitter experience for me and Nivedita and everyone out there. You cannot judge a person by what she wears and call someone a dustbin," Lyngdoh added.
Barthakur said they will take legal action against the Club officials.
"I have started consulting my lawyer. I will also take it up with Kiren Rijiju (Minister of State for Home) and Conrad Sangma (Lok Sabha member from Meghalaya)," she said.
A former Delhi Golf Club president who did not want to be named told IANS: "We do have a strict dress code. Just what happened in this case, I can't say."
When Firstpost contacted DGC, the Club's representative declined to comment on the incident. They, however, promptly issued a press release acknowledging that the "incident could've been handled in a much better way," while dispelling claims that the guest was asked to leave the premises.
Discrimination against people of the North East is nothing new to the capital. A Manipur girl, Monika Khangembam, alleged last year that she faced humiliation and racial discrimination by an immigration officer at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport. She alleged in her post that an immigration officer "humiliated" her by constantly asking her unnecessary questions about her nationality.
In a similar incident last year, reflecting Delhi's class elitism, a prominent restaurant in Connaught Place had allegedly denied entry to underprivileged children accompanied by a woman, prompting Delhi government to order an inquiry.
Sonali Shetty, a writer, had taken some street children for a lunch to the restaurant to celebrate her husband's birthday on Saturday. But, they were allegedly denied service by the staff of the eatery.
"I had taken eight underprivileged children for lunch to Shiv Sagar restaurant but the staff there denied to serve us. I was also ridiculed and threatened to keep off the restaurant," she said.
With inputs from IANS
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Updated Date: Jun 27, 2017 13:41:10 IST