New Delhi: The Delhi Golf Club on Tuesday rendered an apology to one of its members, whose guest was asked to leave on Sunday.
P Thimmayya Goel, a long-time member of the Delhi Golf Club, had invited Dr Nivedita Barthakur Sondhi, an honorary health advisor to the Assam government, and her governess, Tailin Lyngdoh, to lunch at the Delhi Golf Club on Sunday.
However, Lyngdoh, who was wearing traditional Khasi attire, was asked by the staff to leave for wearing “maid's uniform”.
In a statement to the press, the Club said: “We have sought an explanation from the staff and disciplinary action is in the process. An apology has been made to the member who had brought the guest. This has been unconditionally accepted.”
"Incident could have been handled in a better way by staff, the guests were not asked to leave," it added.
However, the statement did not say if the elite club, situated next to Oberoi hotel, had apologised to the guest from Meghalaya for the incident, that has led to outrage.
A statement issued by club Secretary Rajiv Hora said: "An item in national dailies and social media relating to the alleged mistreatment of a guest of a Delhi Golf Club member, where the club had apparently objected to the violation of the dress code by the guest has been brought to the notice of the management."
"The management has immediately investigated the incident and it has emerged that the incident could have been handled in a much better way by the staff member. It was also confirmed that the guests were not asked to leave the club premises," it said.
“It is unfortunate that an undesirable attempt is being made to give the incident political and cultural overtones,” further said the Club.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Lyngdoh, meanwhile, said, "They ( Delhi Golf Club staff) told me to leave the dining hall as maids were not allowed. They were very rude. I felt ashamed and angry. I was wearing the traditional Khasi dress - Jainsem, and they told me this dress was not allowed. They also told me that I look like a Nepali.”
“I have been to many other countries, but this has never happened to me. Surprised to know that this has happened here in Delhi.”
Barthakur told ANI that even after she explained to the staff that Lyngdoh is from Meghalaya and is wearing her traditional dress called Jainsem, they still objected to it.
"This incident happened on June 25 (Sunday). Nine members were invited for lunch, including my governess, by a long standing member of the Delhi Golf Club. Lyngdoh was also invited in her own right. When we reached there and sat at the table for about 10 to 15 minutes, this gentleman, who is a manager I believe, and a lady walked over to Lyngdoh and told her to leave the table. When Lyngdoh objected and asked for the reason, the manager said because you look like a `maid`.”
“When we all interjected and asked them the reason, they repeatedly said because she looks like one and her attire too speaks of it. I explained to them that she is from Meghalaya and is wearing her traditional attire called Jainsem, they still objected to it. We all were shocked, sad and had to leave the place," Barthakur told ANI.
Barthakur added that Lyngdoh has travelled to London and UAE earlier wearing the Jainsem, but never faced any trouble there. Barthakur posted the incident on Facebook.
(With Agency inputs)