The State government will seek legal opinion and advice of the Chief Minister before acting on the issue of allowing dhoti-clad men into recreational clubs in Chennai, School Education and Tamil Development Minister K.C. Veeramani informed the Assembly on Monday.
Responding to a special calling attention motion moved by the Opposition on denial of entry to Justice D. Hariparanthaman and two senior advocates into the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) Club, the Minister said these clubs were registered under the Society Act and they were controlled by their own by-laws.
Earlier raising the issue in the House, DMK floor leader M.K. Stalin said suitable action should be taken against the club for humiliating the Judge and advocates who went there to attend a function.
“The incident has taken place at a time when the State government-owned Co-optex is organising dhoti day to promote the traditional dress. Former Judge of the Supreme Court V.R. Krishna Iyer was also subjected to similar humiliation by one of these clubs,” he said, adding that Gymkhana, MCC and Boat Club were following similar rules against dhoti-clad men.
Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) whip V.C. Chandrakumar wondered how these clubs could deny entry to dhoti-clad men when dhoti was the traditional dress of even members of the Legislative Assemblies and Parliament that enact laws for the nation.
CPI (M) floor leader A. Soundararajan said the denial of entry to the Judge and others into the club was an onslaught on Tamil culture.
“The dress code was introduced by these clubs to prevent the entry of Indians into their areas. It is continuing even 67 years after the country achieved Independence. The government should enact a law to take action against these clubs,” he said.
CPI leader Arumugam said great leaders such as Kamaraj, Jeeva and Periyar dressed in dhoti even when they visited foreign countries.
Congress leader C.R. Gopinath said that under the Congress-led UPA government a dhoti-clad Tamilian (P. Chidambaram) was the Finance Minister.