Bangalore: Clubs Come Under State Assembly Scanner Over Dress Code
From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, Aug 1: With almost all the top elite clubs insisting on a dress code for its members and guests for entry into their premises, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly has decided to constitute a house panel to look into the affairs all the clubs peeved over their high and mighty attitude and practices, which smacked of what the legislators termed as ''colonial hangover.”
''The Clubs enjoy various kinds of facilities or concessions and even grants of lands from the State Government,” said Congress member A Manju, who raised the issue in the Assembly, and slammed the Clubs for their ''uncivilized” behavior.
Congress opposition leader Siddaramaiah supported the member and said the dress code followed by the elite clubs, which barred entry to members or guests if they wore dhotis or chappals, was completely wrong.
Karnataka’s Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar supported the Congress members and said those managing the Clubs must change their policies and come out of the colonial hangover and change their policies in tune with the present situation.
Cooperation Minister B J Puttaswamy said there were 2,315 clubs in Karnataka and the State Government had given land for 37 of them.
Manju alleged the clubs were using part of their premises for commercial purposes in violation of the Karnataka Societies Act under which they have been registered.
The Congress member said the State Government should get 50 per cent of their revenues.
Siddaramaiah sharply criticised clubs practicing dress code as being “shameful” and pointed out that even the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, participated in the Round Table Conference convened by the British Government in which the then Prime Minister and the even the Queen, the Monarch of the British Empire, were present in his famous dhoti and chappals.
Though Mahatma Gandhi would not have gone to these kind of Clubs, Siddaramaiah said the Father of Nation would have been denied entry even if he wanted to do so.
Siddaramaiah demanded the setting up of a House committee to see if the clubs were being run as per the Laws of the land, particularly the Registration of Societies Act under which they were registered and functioning, and whether they were adhering to the objectives and purposes for which they had been formed.
It was necessary to check whether the Clubs were scrupulously following the norms pertaining to audit and maintenance of accounts as also payments of the admissible taxes considering the fact that the membership of many of these elite clubs cost a couple of lakhs of rupees.
It was also noted that some clubs were in fact modelled after the Britishers, which denied entry to Indians, including the Century Club in the City, a brain child of Sir M Visveshwaraya.
Speaker K G Bopaiah, sought to put an end to the debate, by announcing that a house committee would be constituted to look into the affairs of the Clubs and recommend to the State Government on the steps to be taken to regulate their functioning, if necessary.