New Delhi: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju has described as a "clear case of racial discrimination", the elite Delhi Golf Club in the capital asking a woman guest from Meghalaya to leave because she was wearing a Jainsem, a traditional dress worn by Khasis. Tailin Lyngdoh was dining with a member of the club, when she was asked to leave by club staff, who alleged that her outfit looked like a "maid's uniform".
A furious Mr Rijiju said today that it reflected an "elitist mindset of some people (that) will destroy the social fabric of the country". He has asked Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to take action. The minister brought it up with Mr Patnaik after Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma spoke to him.
On Sunday, June 25, Ms Lyngdoh, who works as a governess, and her employer Nivedita Barthakur Sondhi were invited to club by a member. They were sitting to lunch when two club officials asked Ms Lyngdoh to leave the table.
"We were invited for lunch at the Delhi Golf Club. We were all seated and lunch was almost served when suddenly, the club official came to me and asked me to leave the place," Ms Lyngdoh told news agency IANS, adding, "I asked why and they told me that the dress I was wearing was a maid's uniform. They even said that I look like a dustbin."
Ms Lyngdoh said she has travelled the world and many parts of India and has dined at the best clubs, "but no one has hurled abuses or commented on my dress."
The Delhi Golf Club said it has apologised to its member who had invited Ms Sondhi and Ms Lyngdoh to lunch, but alleged that the incident was being given a "political and cultural overtone". The statement did not however say if the club, situated next to the Oberoi hotel in an upscale area of south Delhi, had apologised to Ms Lyngdoh.
"The management has immediately investigated the incident and it has emerged that the incident could have been handled in a much better way by the staff member. It was also confirmed that the guests were not asked to leave the club premises," the club said, adding, "disciplinary action is in process."
The member, the club said, has "unconditionally" accepted its apology.