A bar in Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area recently denied entry to a woman who was wearing an ethnic dress. Sangeeta K Nag posted a video of the incident where an employee of the bar was heard saying to her, “ethnic is something we don’t allow”. The video went viral creating outrage on the micro-blogging site.
“Denied entry as ethnic wear is not allowed! A restaurant in India allows ‘smart casuals’ but not Indian wear! Whatever happened to pride in being Indian? Take a stand!” she wrote on Twitter while sharing the video.
Nag also shared the dress code policy of the bar which read: “Dress code to be followed. Smart casuals only/ no shorts/slippers”. A man can be heard saying in the video that they are not in shorts or wearing slippers.
Watch the video here:
@bishnoikuldeep My shocking experience with discrimination at Kylin and Ivy, Ambience Vasant Kunj this evening. Denied entry as ethnic wear is not allowed! A restaurant in India allows ‘smart casuals’ but not Indian wear! Whatever happened to pride in being Indian? Take a stand! pic.twitter.com/ZtJJ1Lfq38
— Sangeeta K Nag (@sangeetaknag) March 10, 2020
The video went viral across social media platforms from Facebook to YouTube and the restaurant was slammed for their dress code policy. Many called it ironic that in India, Indian clothes were not allowed. Accusing them of ‘colonial hangover’, many said their license should be cancelled.
What the hell! If this Kylin & Ivy or any other restaurant still follow such colonial practices of not allowing guests wearing ethnic clothes, their licences should be immediately cancelled. Shame! @ArvindKejriwal @PMOIndia https://t.co/JdIdc4apiu
— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) March 11, 2020
Wow! In India, you can’t wear an Indian outfit in a restaurant..but western casuals. Crap!
I have dined in upscale restaurants in London/NY/Chicago- wearing ethnic Indian and no one denied an entry. Dear @PMOIndia @ArvindKejriwal @narendramodi This is unacceptable. Take action. https://t.co/JKBIiQpeDW
— Sadhavi Khosla🇮🇳 (@sadhavi) March 11, 2020
A lot of bars and clubs around the world don’t allow people in the ‘national dress’ into the bar and an outlet has the right to refuse entry on its rules. However, generalizing it to Indian wear is BS. And what is he wearing? A tuxedo?
This is nothing but double standards. https://t.co/jI5OLlSih7
— VIN NAIR (@vinsinners) March 11, 2020
Although the British have left India, the mindset of some Indians is still shackled by colonialism. In Japan, a Kimono can be worn for any event & is smiled upon – yet in India, you are not allowed to wear “ethnic clothes” to a posh joint but must wear the suit boot of the Sahib! https://t.co/TvNu6mXWr4
— Rev. Zenji Nio ⚔️🇯🇵🇮🇳🇨🇦 (@NioZenji) March 12, 2020
A restaurant operating in “India’s” capital, denies entry to “Indians” wearing “Indian ethnic” wear!
And we thought British left India 72 years ago 🙄
Such colonial, discriminating mindset in independent India, that considers Indian ethnic wear not so classy is despicable! https://t.co/duZyo3EqKf
— RougePouts (@RougePouts) March 11, 2020
Extremely shameful policy. This cannot be allowed to happen on Indian soil of all places. Who the hell do these people think they are. Probably owners family are bootlickers of british from before independence. British to gaye lekin colonial hangover gaya nahi abhi tak inka.
— MrGlassHalfEmpty (@mrGlassHfEmpty) March 11, 2020
Irony died a million deaths where the bald dude wearing ethnic wear tells a woman that they don’t admit people wearing ethnic wear.
— Dr. Invertebrate Batman (@Your_Levodopa) March 11, 2020
— Dewdrop (@Dewdrop59486561) March 11, 2020
The restaurant later put out a response on their official Facebook page on Saturday after drawing flak online over the incident. “The gentleman in the video is a new team member and his opinion in the video is his alone and in no way a representation of my or the teams’ view on the dress code restrictions. Nowhere in our company policy does it say that we will refuse ethnic wear.”
However, the message was later taken down.
Responding to a query sent by the IndianExpress.com regarding the incident, the restaurant’s owner Saurabh Khanijo reiterated his claim and wrote, “Nowhere in our company policy does it say that we will refuse ethnic wear. You can be rest assured that the necessary action will be taken at our end to enhance the team’s training and client handling skills.”
When asked if any specific action has been taken against the staff in the video Khanijo said, “Mistakes do happen” and added, “He has done a mistake he is feeling pathetic about it. And has apologised.”
This is not the first time something like this has happened. In 2017, a mall in Kolkata had denied entry to a man wearing a dhoti and created a big furore online. However, he was later allowed to enter when he started to argue and challenge the staff in English.