Bengaluru: While many people have welcomed the proposal to remove dress codes in recreational clubs the proposal to ensure that legislators and MPs given membership in clubs has not gone well with most club members in the city.
The city has several recreational clubs, including Bangalore Club, Cosmopolitan Club, Century Club, Indira Nagar Club, Bangalore Golf Club and Bangalore Turf Club.
Many people said that there are several instances of elite clubs in the city denying entry to members and guests in dhoti or any other traditional dress. In 2002, Professor G Mohan Gopal, then director of National Law School of India University was denied entry into Bangalore Club for wearing a dhoti. In 2014, a Madras High Court judge was denied entry into Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Club in Chennai for wearing dhoti, following this, Tamil Nadu assembly passed a bill prohibiting ban of dhotis in recreation clubs, theatres, and halls. K Rajeev, a resident of Indira Nagar, said, “It’s time to end such British-era practices.
The government should ban clubs that do not honour our culture. Most of the clubs in the city, including the ones that are functioning on government lands, gives membership only for elite class of the society.” Many clubs have strict dress code rules, mostly apply only to men. “It’s not just dhotis. Most clubs don’t allow T-shirts, sleeveless vests and rubber footwear,” said a club member.
“If religious institutions have a dress code, then why is the government targeting only recreational clubs? Most clubs follow dress code as a tradition for several years,” he added.
“It’s a welcome move to allow people wearing traditional dresses in recreational clubs but we are opposing the automatic memberships of legislators and MPs in clubs.
There are several MPs and MLAs who have applied for membership and continue to enjoy the privileges. It’s not fair to give club memberships to all elected members,” said K Jairaj, former president of Century Club. “Most recreational clubs in the city are private institutions and they should be allowed to fix the membership fee.” “I don’t think this proposal will stand in court.
The priorities of the elected members should be addressing the civic issues and also running the state. I don’t have any problem if any club member or his/her guests comes in formal Indian dress,” said P C Balachandran, a member of Bangalore Club.