Single men and women residing in Essel Towers, a gated condominium on Gurgaon’s MG Road, have alleged “moral policing” by the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) over a notice that came up over the weekend. Put up on Saturday morning, the notice, with the subject ‘rules and regulations for residents and visitors’, states: “Where only girls are staying boy visitors shall not be allowed and where boys are staying girl visitors shall not be allowed.”
The notice states that the order has been passed by Essel Towers Maintenance Pvt. Ltd. (ETMPL), and the Essel Towers Residents’ Welfare Association (ETRWA).
RWA president Rajeev Sinha did not respond to calls and messages from The Indian Express.
Raj Gopal, a 27-year-old from Mumbai, who works in the corporate sector and has been living in a rented accommodation with three flatmates for the last three months, claimed, “Earlier, they had a rule that members of the opposite sex could not stay overnight, and had to leave by 10 pm. A few days ago, one of my female friends came for dinner and was planning to leave around 11 pm. But at 9.30 pm, guards turned up and demanded that she leave immediately.”
Gopal claimed things will get worse with the new order. “We cannot even ask relatives or siblings to stay with us,” he said. Bharti Singhla, 24, who hails from Himachal Pradesh and has been living here for a year, said, “We were okay with the 10 pm rule, but this one is ridiculous. We cannot even call our colleagues or relatives anymore… I might have to look for other places to stay.”
Some tenants The Indian Express spoke to drew comparisons with Mumbai or Bengaluru, where “such things are never an issue”.
Amit Kumar, 30, a senior consultant with a consultancy firm, has lived at Essel Towers for three years. He claimed that “even though landlords are on our side, the RWA refuses to listen to them”.
“At one point, they said we could get members of the opposite sex if we had prior permission from the landlord, but later this exception was revoked,” he said, adding, “They will allow a man and a woman to interact within the locality only if they are married.”