TN brings Bill on dhoti in clubs

Offenders to face 1 year prison term with fine

TN brings Bill on dhoti in clubs

The AIADMK government on Wednesday introduced the Bill on Tamil Nadu Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction on Dress) providing for stringent punishment for refusal of entry to dhoti-clad persons at clubs. 

The Bill, which is likely to be passed on the last day of the session on August 12, proposes a one-year jail term with a fine, which may extend up to Rs 25,000, for authorities of recreation clubs and other organisations if they do not allow dhoti-clad persons on their premises. 

Tabled by Chief Minister J Jayalalitha, the Bill also proposes cancellation of licences of clubs and organisations violating the law. “In order to preserve our culture, custom and heritage, the government has decided to remove the restriction imposed on persons wearing ‘veshti’ (dhoti) that reflects the Tamil culture or any Indian traditional dress for entry into public places,” the Bill said.

“If any recreation club, association, trust, company or society violates the provisions of the Act, the licence or permission granted by the government to that recreation club, association, trust, company or society shall be cancelled after notice to the licencee concerned,” it added.

The action comes after sitting Madras High Court Judge Hari Paranthaman and two senior advocates were denied entry into the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) club for a book release function because they were wearing dhoti. Political parties in the state raised a hue and cry over the incident and termed it as an affront to Tamil tradition and culture and demanded action from the state government. 

The Bill was introduced nearly two weeks after Jayalalitha announced in the Assembly that a permanent solution would be sought on the issue. During a session, the chief minister termed the TNCA’s act of denying permission to those clad in dhoti as “sartorial despotism”. 

Jayalalitha said she had already ordered the Registrar of Societies to issue a notice to the TNCA, seeking an explanation on the matter. 

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