Prominent citizens from the northeastern states on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking action against the Delhi Golf Club for "perpetuating racial discrimination and atrocity" against a woman from Meghalaya who was asked to leave the elite club for wearing a traditional dress.
"We seek action from the Prime Minister to end the culture of class and race-based discrimination in not only the Delhi Golf Club but in all such institutions across the country, whether private or public," the citizens stated in their petition.
The citizens also lodged a complaint with the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Chairperson, Nand Kumar Sai seeking "severe punishment" for the club.
In their petition, the citizens demanded exemplary and stringent punishment against the General Committee of the Delhi Golf Club for "promoting racial and class-based discrimination" against a woman belonging to the Scheduled Tribes community and for violating statutory provision under the Indian Constitution and The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
It also demanded the immediate removal of "profession-based, feudal and colonial, discriminatory policies" from all elite clubs of India. Such policies reinforce class-based discrimination in a country that has historically fought against such discrimination, it said.
The citizens also urged the Union Urban Development Ministry to take necessary action to ensure that government land should not be leased to an institution like the Delhi Golf Club.
"Though there would be a collective effort by the country's upper class to subvert this movement against class-based discrimination, we hope that you, Sir, can strongly intervene to protect the human rights of members belonging to the Scheduled Tribes and other marginalized communities of India.
"Under your leadership we have collectively gotten rid of the VIP Culture and this movement should not stop at red beacons only, but should extend to the curbing of elitist behaviour by the privileged class in all aspects of India life," the citizens stated in their petition to the Prime Minister.
On June 25, Tailin Lyngdoh, a governess, had gone to the Delhi Golf Club along with her employer Nivedita Barthakur, after they were invited for lunch by a Club member.
Some 15-20 minutes into the lunch, two Club officials asked Lyngdoh to leave the table and the Club, saying her dress was a "maid's uniform" and also allegedly hurled racial abuses.
Lyngdoh was attired in a Jainsem, a traditional dress worn by the indigenous Khasi women in Meghalaya.
"The attire comprises of two pieces of fabric which are either tied or pinned at the shoulders and is worn either below the knee or ankle length. The Jainsem is generally worn with a blouse and a petticoat underneath," said Meghalaya's leading designer Daniel Syiem, who has showcased ethnic apparel in global fashion hubs like New York, London and Rome.
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