Over 100 citizens of Guwahati on Wednesday dashed off an appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the June 26 incident in the Delhi Golf Club and sought “action” from him to mete out exemplary and stringent punishment to officials of the elite club for promoting racial and class-based discrimination against a Scheduled Tribe woman from the Northeast.
Those who signed the petition included former Editors’ Guild of India president DN Bezboruah, Gauhati University vice-chancellor Mridul Hazarika, eminent author Mitra Phukan, IIT-Guwahati faculty Anup Kumar Gogoi, industrialist Chiranjit Chaliha, veteran journalist Wasbir Hussain, human rights activist Miguel Das Queah among others.
The signatories described the June 26 incident in which Tailin Lyngdoh, a Khasi woman was thrown out of the elite Delhi Golf Club as one that violated provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and also sought action from the prime minister to end the culture of class and race-based discrimination not only in Delhi Golf Club but in all such institutions across the country, private or public.
The petition gave a detailed description of the incident quoting Nivedita Borthakur Sondhi, who along with Tailin Lyngdoh was a guest of member of the elite club for lunch on June 26, and particularly named Siddharth Sriram and Rajiv Hora, president and secretary respectively of Delhi Golf Club as being responsible for the act of discrimination.
“Though the direct atrocity was committed by Ajit Pal and Sumitra Thakur (staff of DGC), the actual blame for perpetrating this act of discrimination lies on the general committee of the Delhi Golf Club headed by Siddharth Sriram (President) and Rajiv Hora (Secretary), who are liable to punishment for adopting policies that discriminate against members of the Scheduled Tribes in India,” the petition said.
The petitioners also called for immediate removal of profession-based, feudal and colonial discriminatory policies from all elite clubs of India by pointing out that “such policies reinforce class-based discrimination in a country that has historically fought against such discrimination.”