TN Bill makes ban on entry of people wearing dhoti in public places a punishable offence
It will now be a punishable offence to ban entry of a person clad in Dhoti from entering public places in Tamil Nadu. The state Assembly unanimously passed a bill making enforcing dress code and banning entry of persons wearing ‘dhoti’ in public places a cognizable offence punishable with jail term.
The House passed the ‘Tamil Nadu Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction on Dress) Act 2014’ after CM Jayalalithaa moved it for consideration and passing. The Act empowers the state to quash the licences of such clubs, recreation associations, trusts and company or society prohibiting entry to any person wearing a ‘vesthi’ (dhoti), traditional attire of men in the state.
The legislation, which comes against the backdrop of denial of entry to a Madras High Court Judge and two advocates recently by a prominent cricket club in the state, also holds any regulation or by-law made by any organization imposing a dress code as null and void. Punitive action, including cancellation of licence, besides punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with a fine upto Rs.25,000, will be taken against the violators of the act.
The Act mentions that no dress code restrictions can be imposed for entry into public places– recreation clubs, hotels, theatres, malls, halls, auditoriums, stadiums and such other places as may be notified by the government, where people including members gather for any function, event, entertainment, sports or other activity.
The Act holds that the imposition of restriction on persons for entry into public places on the ground that their dress does not conform to Western culture would amount to continuation of the colonial imperialistic attitude.