Madras High Court Judge refused entry for wearing dhoti

Madras High Court Judge refused entry into function for wearing dhoti

Refusal of entry to a dhoti-clad judge of the Madras High Court at a club here has stoked a controversy, with political parties including DMK condemning the incident, as CPI(M) vowed to take up the issue in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, which is in session, tomorrow. 

DMK chief M Karunanidhi and TNCC president BS Gnanadesikan said the government should step in to remove any kind of dress code in public functions. 

Karunanidhi said ‘vaetti’ (dhoti) was a symbol of Tamil culture and it was ‘condemnable’ that one was barred entry at a public function for wearing the traditional attire. 

“To prevent recurrence of such incidents the government should suo motu advise (the concerned) on removing provisions on dress code for persons attending functions in public,” Karunanidhi said in a statement today. 

Madras High Court Judge, Justice D Hariparanthaman was denied entry into the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Club recently for wearing dhoti. 

When he alighted from his official car at the club premises to participate in a book release function organised by T S Arunachalam, a former Chief Justice of the High Court, some staff of the club told him that he could not enter the premises wearing dhoti as they had instructions from the office-bearers not to allow anyone in the premises who violated the club’s dress code. 

The judge has termed the incident as “unfortunate”. Gnanadesikan said it was “regrettable” that a High Court Judge was denied entry for wearing dhoti. 

“It is not important who went there wearing dhoti, but a rule barring the entry into a club (for a dhoti-clad person) in Tamil Nadu is unacceptable,” he said. 

He said if at all there was a dress code for a club, it would not be binding on persons who were not its members and sought removal of any such existing rules in clubs. 

CPI (M) Floor Leader in the state Assembly, A Sounderrajan, told PTI that the party will take up the matter in the House tomorrow by calling for a motion. 

PMK founder S Ramadoss wanted an end to such British-era practices and expressed regret that even former Supreme Court Judge Justice V R Krishna Iyer was denied entry in 1980s in the Gymkhana Club here leading him to write a protest note in the guest book. 

He demanded that the state government move necessary amendments to ban clubs that do not honour Tamil culture.