The elitist Delhi Golf Club drew great criticism from all corners when it’s officials passed racial and discriminatory comments against a 45 year old Khasi lady-Tailin Lyngdoh and asked her to leave the club for not making up to their ‘self-important’ code of dressing and turnover. Lyngdoh, belonging to the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya whose traditional dress is a ‘jainsem’ was forced to leave the Delhi Golf Club as the ‘jainsem’ according to them is just not ‘clubbish’ enough.
The incident which took place on Sunday, 25th of June exposed the elitist, classist and chauvinist club which self righteously declared Tailin of being a maid. The officials also passed derogatory remarks and called her ‘Nepali’ thereby proving that anyone who isn’t good looking enough is a Nepali. What a distasteful remark.
Tailin Lyngdoh, who works as a governess for Dr. Nivedita Barthakur in Assam was ironically invited by a senior member of the club for a lunch in the Delhi Golf Club.
What she was not aware of was the fact that the club officials would be so xenophobic as to shamelessly declare her as a maid, only because their ignorant minds could not identify her traditional attire.
This news, ever since came out into the public domain on 26th June, has shocked the country and exposed how the ‘clubs’ of India and some of it’s members are insensitive to the diversity of this country, both culturally as well as financially. Culturally because the clubs have insulated themselves with the shawl of elite, wealthy and powerful social ranking persons. The exclusiveness of these clubs is such that they assume everyone in India wears the same clothes, speaks the same language(which includes elite spoken English) and of-course, is stinking rich.
However, is Tailin the first unsuspecting victim of such classism and racism of these supposedly British styled clubs? The answer is a big NO!
These same exquisite clubs which are not only restricted to Delhi, have over the past been racist and discriminatory towards well known people too. Some examples are as follows.
-Celebrated painter M F Hussain was denied entry into the Calcutta Club for walking into the club barefoot.
-Music maestro Ananda Shankar and writer Sunil Ganguly too were denied entry into two different clubs of Kolkata for ‘improper dressing’.
-In the January of last year, Woman Rights activist Mohini Giri’s guests were insulted by the “well mannered” staff of the Delhi Gymkhana who called the guests ‘maid’ and ‘driver’. The lady at that instance too was from Northeast India. Mohini Giri gave up her membership of the gymkhana in protest. She has strongly criticized the Delhi Golf Club for it’s conduct.
If well known people are not spared by these British era clubs, the tyranny which common people go through on a day-to-day basis is unimaginable. An investigation by Republic TV showed how a club in Delhi has put up a signboard right on the reception which reads “Ayahs, Servants and Drivers not allowed’.
The official of a Bengaluru club, who was stung by Republic TV very keenly explains as to why servants and drivers are made to sit in a separate area. He says ‘Servants cannot sit on the same table as the members”. This shows the grossness of these elite clubs.
Where did these exclusive clubs draw their inspiration from you may ask. Since most of these clubs were made for the British Rajas, it is quite probable that they have inherited this elitism and classism from the Brits. These clubs still live in lalaland and are unaware of the fact that India is a democracy and not ruled by the etiquette of the British. They still believe that clubs are only for people who wear expensive suits, hold a glass of alcohol in one hand and a cigar in the other. The average Indian must not even dare enter these clubs, as their ‘glory’ will be demeaned. However, it is a valid question to ask these clubs off. Who made the set of rules for you in independent India? Or are you still very satisfied with how you used to work during the British Raj?
Only that previously the sign board would read: “Dogs and Indian’s not allowed” and now it reads “Only affluent and classy Indians allowed”. Moreover, at least the members of these clubs should have the sense to protest against such ‘Nawaabi” rules of the clubs. Or do they enjoy fellow Indian’s being mocked, discriminated and racially attacked in their abode of etiquette?
It will continue this way, unless the individual members stand up against racism in their clubs. Let us not be mere spectators to such racial attacks, but rather collectively teach the clubs of India how to behave in a democracy.
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