Delhi Golf Club Apologises for Forcing Meghalayan Woman Out

Tailin Lyngdoh faced racial abuses and was also called a dustbin for wearing a ‘maid’s uniform’.

3 min read
Tailin Lyngdoh had gone to the Club along with her employer Nivedita Barthakur after they were invited for lunch by a member of the Club.

The Delhi Golf Club on Tuesday apologised for forcing a Meghalayan woman out of their premises for dressing up in a traditional Khasi outfit. A press release sent out by the club said that the incident was investigated and “could have been handled in a much better way by the staff member.”

The management has ordered disciplinary action against the defaulting staff members.

Minister of State Kiren Rijiju described the incident as a "clear case of racial discrimination". He asked Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to take appropriate action on the incident, which, he said, also reflected an "elitist mindset".

Meghalaya Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma, urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to take cognisance of the incident.

On Sunday, Tailin Lyngdoh had gone to the club along with her employer Nivedita Barthakur, after they were invited for lunch by a member of the club.

However, 15-20 minutes into the lunch, two club officials asked Lyngdoh to leave the table and the club saying the dress (Jainsem) she was wearing was a "maid's uniform" and had also allegedly hurled racial abuse at her.

We were invited for lunch at the Delhi Golf Club. We were all seated and lunch was almost to be served. Suddenly, the club official came to me and asked me to leave the place.
Lyngdoh to IANS
Delhi Golf Club Apologises for Forcing Meghalayan Woman Out
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Nivedita Barthakur)

"I enquired the reason. They told me that the dress (Jainsem) I was wearing was a maid's uniform. They even said that I look like a dustbin," said a visibly upset Lyngdoh, who hails from Meghalaya's Langtor village in Mairaing civil subdivision.

"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 at 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.

"The attire comprises two pieces of fabrics 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.

Barthakur, who is an entrepreneur and advisor to the Assam government, told IANS that they had a lunch invitation from her friend.

She said the two Club officials who told Lyngdoh to leave were Ajit Pal and Sumita Thakur.

"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.
Tailin Lyngdoh
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.

Meanwhile, Congress MP from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering told CNN News18 that he will take up the issue at the Parliament, once the monsoon session begins on 17 July.

We have raised this issue earlier too. If it were foreign delegates, they would not have had the guts to behave in this manner. I promise to take this matter up at the Parliament in the Monsoon Session

A former Delhi Golf Club president, who did not want to be identified, told IANS: "We do have a strict dress code. Just what happened in this case, I can't say."

(with inputs from IANS)

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