A recent incident in Delhi’s Golf Club where a woman was badly treated and forcibly taken out despite being formally invited only on the account of being inappropriately dressed to suit the standards of the place is a reminder of the still prevalent ‘colonial’ mind-sets that many of us in India still hold.
Sunandini Sen / The New Leam
Among the several other major happenings in the country over the last few days what is also doing the rounds is the incidence that took place in Delhi’s posh Golf Club. A woman named Tailin Lyngdoh from Meghalaya was denied the permission to attend an on-going party on account of looking like a ‘maid’. Yes, this middle aged woman was dressed in the traditional Khasi attire the Jainsem and was a guest of one of the members. Despite being invited formally to the event, the Delhi Golf Club showed her the door simply because they believed that she looked like a ‘maid’.
There are two reasons for this. Clearly, the first reason exists because the second depends on it. The foremost reason is that these clubs that were once the epitomes of a colonial mind-set still continue to represent an elitist world. These clubs of the Raj era still display the rule that prohibits ‘maids’ and ‘drivers’ to enter. It is high time we changed such discriminatory and deeply racial rules and move towards a more egalitarian space.
The second reason is that most of our educated, well salaried people carry an immense snobbery and a consciousness that is deeply class conscious and discriminatory. The way that we treat and deal with those on the margins reflects this attitude most clearly. The incident at the Delhi Golf Club is one among hundreds that happen across the country’s neighborhoods each day.
Our tendency of being extremely ‘exclusivist’ and ‘class –conscious’ have killed the spirit in us to be able to relate to people as individuals first irrespective of their socio-cultural backgrounds. It is indeed an irony that based on one’s attire one is judged, ridiculed and even insulted so easily. What adds to the irony is that an incident like this takes place in the so called well off and educated section of the society where people are apparently the most sensitive and well behaved.
Yes, it is indeed a shame that despite our modernity and economic progress, despite the fact that we pride in our smart cities and online transactions, despite the innumerable achievements that we have in space research and technology at the core we continue to be deeply hierarchical and inhuman. I wonder why even after so many decades after independence we are still unable to come out of the colonized consciousness? Why even after having experienced the pain of brutal discrimination, hierarchy and unequal treatment we still treat those who are weaker than us in the same way?
This incident is a reminder that we are savage. We are impoverished by heart and consciousness. We are worse than we were in the past and no matter how much we prosper externally unless we treat human as humans we are never going to be a happy and contented civilization.
Let us for once reflect on the way that we treat many individuals around us. Why can we not give up the mentality of ‘masters’ and ‘servants’ as two binary opposites who can n ever eat, live and laugh together freely and instead become truly progressive by allowing these superficial distinctions to fade away.
Let this incident not be forgotten easily, let us take a step to see humanity as the foremost religion. Let maids and drivers be forgotten categories and universal brotherhood and love be strived for.
Let this vulgarity of classism end and society move towards values of egalitarianism and universal brotherhood.