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first_imgIt could be the end of days for ‘colonial culture’ among the elite clubs of the IT capital of the nation if Karnataka government has its way. The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government has drafted a Bill, which makes it mandatory for the clubs to grant entry to people wearing Indian attire, including traditional costumes.At present, some of the top clubs in Bengaluru, such as the Bangalore Club, Cosmopolitan Club, Century Club and Indiranagar Club have a strict dress code. In the Bangalore Club, male members cannot enter the premises wearing Indian traditional attire, such as dhoti and kurta. In the Century Club, male members cannot enter the restaurant without wearing collared shirts. Such issues have often led to the resignation of academics and high profile members from the clubs.The draft Karnataka Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction on Dress and Regulation of Membership and Fee) Bill 2015 makes it clear that anybody wearing Indian attire and those traditional costumes worn in Karnataka cannot be denied entry into the private clubs. The Bill also states that such selective treatment amounts to discrimination in society.The Bill justifies the need for regulating entry into the clubs, particularly the dress code, “”It is the fundamental duty of every Indian citizen to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture. Imposing restrictions on persons for entry into public places on the ground that their dress does not conform to western culture, membership and fees would amount to continuation of the colonial attitude. It has become imperative in the context of happenings in the past to remove such restrictions and unreasonable attitude.”advertisementIf the draft Bill is passed as an Act, all the premium clubs in Bengaluru will have to alter their rules and by-laws, an exercise, which they may find daunting to achieve considering the mindset of the members.Apparently, law-makers felt the need for the Bill after several eminent personalities, such as Mohan Gopal, former Director, National Law School of India, were denied entry by the Bangalore Club, as he was wearing Indian attire. Consequently, the Karnataka legislature formed a Committee in 2012 to examine the discrimination in clubs based on the costumes. The Committee members visited 26 clubs across the state and evolved the draft version of the Bill.In addition to relaxing the dress code, the draft Bill also recommended to the clubs to enroll elected representatives, sports personalities and achievers as members. It also suggested the clubs to lower the fee for granting membership. However, the government’s proposal has not gone down well with the clubs.The draft Bill will be introduced in the winter session of the Karnataka legislature.last_img read more

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