Chennai Cricket Club bans dhoti

By T M Veeraraghav

Chennai: India it appears still has not grown out of its colonial hangover. Chennai’s prestigious cricket club is in the middle of a controversy for disallowing a civil servant entry because he was clad in a veshti – the traditional Tamil attire.

But the club maintains it’s only maintaining its time-honoured tradition by imposing the dress code.

Could you imagine Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi in anything else but a dhoti. Well he might have to wear trousers if he has to enter the Tamil Nadu cricket association’s club.

At least that’s what A Narayanan figured out. The Congressman and advisor to the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj was denied entry into the club for a lecture all because he came in Tamil Nadu’s most traditional attire.

Narayanan says, “It’s an insult to an Indian traditional dress. They have not insulted Narayanan. They have insulted a representative of the union ministry.”

Furious with the club’s decade’s old tradition Narayanan’s shot off a letter to the Chief Minister and is now launching a signature campaign against the TNCA club.

Several other big clubs in the city too have strong rules on dress code and Narayana’s out to fight for the dhoti to be part of that code.

“This clubs is located in the Chief Minister’s constituency and it’s sad that it can happen here in the Capital of Tamils, ” Narayanan adds.

While the TNCA club authorities did not comment on record they did admit that in the past even ministers have been asked to shed their dhoti and wear trousers before the entering the club.

But Narayanan says the question now is whether a club’s tradition can be more powerful than Tamil Nadu’s tradition.
- CNN-IBN (June 09, 2007)

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