Mullappally Ramachandran, MP from Kerala, said it was "shocking" that the judge was denied permission into the club in Chennai on last Saturday solely because he was wearing a 'dhoti'.
    
"This incident has touched the conscience of every patriotic Indian as it smacks of the idiosyncrasies of the British Raj," he said.
    
The judge was to attend a book release function along with other fellow judges at the club.
    
"This incident also reminds us of discrimination meted out to the Father of the Nation in South Africa where he underwent tribulations because he had worn a turban," said Ramachandran, a former Union minister.
    
Wondering whether "apartheid is still being practised" in the country, he said, "We are a sovereign, democratic country and we suffered a lot for attaining independence. This shameful incident is a slur on the very image of our country."
    
He urged the central government to take urgent necessary steps so that "such ridiculous colonial practices" are done away with.
    
Ganeshi Singh (BJP) wanted inclusion of the Mandakini river in the central government's scheme of cleaning and developing of rivers like the Ganga.

Dhoti controversy: Do clubs need a dress code?

Clubs in Tamil Nadu are waiting for a law by the state government that would make it illegal to ban the entry of dhoti-clad people in such places. But club officials say it is not just about perpetuation of a colonial-era rule but being prudent about potentially "embarrassing" situations when "members can easily lose their dhoti" after consuming too much alcohol.

After the issue became a major public debate, state Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had Wednesday announced in the assembly that the government would come out with a law preventing clubs from insulting Tamil culture and tradition.

The issue cropped up after Justice D Hariparanthaman of the Madras High Court and two senior advocates were denied entry by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) Club for wearing dhotis. The three had gone to the club on an invitation to attend a book release function.

The chief minister condemned the TNCA Club over the incident and said the act of denying entry to people wearing dhotis was demeaning to Tamil culture and civilisation. "It is a sartorial despotism," she said.

Jayalalithaa said a notice would be issued to the TNCA Club on the issue.

"We are waiting for the law," a TNCA official said, but was not willing to say whether the club has received the notice from the government.

TNCA president N Srinivasan said the club would abide by the law.

An official of another high-profile club in the city said the managing committee will meet and take a decision on the issue.

"However, this is a topic of discussion at most of the tables in the club," he said, preferring anonymity for himself and the club.

"Such a law may not stand in court. It is a tricky issue and the law has to be carefully drafted because every organisation, including temples, has a dress code," an industrialist said preferring anonymity.

He said the rule should not be looked as a "vestige" of the colonial rule as club members do consume alcohol.

"The rule is basically to avoid embarrassing situations like a member losing his dhoti in an inebriated condition," he said.

JPN/Agencies

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