Condemning the denial of entry to a judge clad in dhoti in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) Club, Chief Minister Jayalalitha on Wednesday said her government would enact a new law to stop this practice and cancel licences of clubs that denigrate Tamil culture.
“This is an act of insult to Tamil culture. This is sartorial despotism. To find a permanent solution to the issue, a Bill in this regard would be introduced and passed in the current session itself. The new law would even cancel licences of clubs, which denigrate Tamil culture,” Jayalalitha said.
The chief minister’s statement comes against the backdrop of sitting judge of the Madras High Court D Hariparanthaman and two senior advocates being denied entry into the TNCA Club for a book release function as they were wearing dhoti.
The issue was not only raised in the Assembly by floor leaders of various political parties, but also evoked widespread protests by many political outfits across the state. Jayalalitha said she had discussed the issue with officials and legal experts. Citing the by-law of the TNCA Club, she said the dress regulation read as: “Persons will not be admitted into the club premises if they are not decently dressed. Persons attired in coloured bermudas, colour/multi-colour lungis, cut banyans/vests and/or wearing hawai slippers will not be permitted into the TNCA Club.”
“It is pertinent to note that there is no mention of dhoti in this dress regulation,” she pointed out, adding that the denial of entry was even a violation of the club’s rules.
The chief minister said she has directed the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies to issue a show-cause notice to the TNCA seeking a detailed explanation of the incident.
“While there is no ban on wearing dhoti at functions even in foreign countries, this act of banning dhoti in Tamil Nadu is against the Constitution and individual rights,” she said.