SHILLONG, July 10: As part of its investigation of the chain of events pertaining to the case of the alleged discrimination of a Khasi woman at the Delhi Golf Club recently, the Meghalaya State Commission for Women listed to the account of the events from the alleged victim, Tailin Lyngdoh here on Monday.
Tailin Lyngdoh, who was asked to leave the Delhi Golf Club just because of wearing a traditional ‘jainsem’ (on June 25), and her employer Dr Nivedia Barthakur Sondhi appeared before the Commission on Monday while the Secretary of the Delhi Golf Club Rajiv Hora will be presenting his case when he arrives here on July 14 next.
“After hearing both the parties, we will come up with a recommendation from our end,” MSCW Chairperson Theilin Phanbuh informed after the hearing.
Stating that statements of Tailin and Dr Sondhi have been taken as a first step on the matter, she said, “Both have pleaded that they want strong action should be taken against the Club.”
She also informed that after a recent meeting held with women’s organizations to condemn the incident, the Commission had submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, National Commission for Women (NCW), National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST), National Human Rights’ Council (NHRC) and three MPs from the state.
Lauding the action taken by the NCST, Phanbuh said, “We extend our support and at the same time appeal to the NCST to take strong action against the Delhi Golf Club.”
Stating that people from the North East are facing problems as they are being looked down on because of their looks, she said there is a need to put pressure so that these types of incidents do not happen.
Advocate and member of the commission Rebina Subba meanwhile said athat ccording to the SC/ST (Atrocities) Act there is a provision in which any words or gestures that are discriminatory are liable for punishment up to 6 months (imprisonment).
She also said that the Commission is coming up with a strong recommendation as whatever has happened is against the equality of citizens in India.
“Even the policy which was followed by the Delhi Golf Club should be scrapped because it is against the equality status of all citizens and it is kind of discriminating racially and profiling people according to class,” Subba said.
Dr Sondhi meanwhile informed that the Delhi Golf Club has claimed that they did not ask them to leave the premises.
“However, if she (Tailin) is asked to leave then why should nine others sit and have our meal. If she is thought to be not fit enough or good enough to eat at their dining hall why should we sit and eat? So we all left,” she said.
On the Delhi Golf Club’s claim of having issued an apology to a member who had invited them to the Club, Dr Sondhi said, “Now, who is the aggrieved party? It is Tailin Lyngdoh and they have not sent any apology to Tailin or by default to me. So it is a wrong statement that they have made.”
She also informed that the Delhi Golf Club had also instituted an enquiry committee headed by a retired Judge. “We have deep respect for the committee members but we don’t recognize the committee because how an accused party judge themselves?” she argued.
“In view that there are many commissions like the Meghalaya State Commission for Women and others who are investigating into the matter, we decided to cooperate with them,” she said.
Stating that the matter should not end only in commissions and enquiries as people of North East have enough of that, Dr Sondhi said, “It is time for some action. Somewhere people should realize that racial profiling us and telling us we are less than other people in the rest of India has to stop.”
“Tailin is who she is and she is my child’s nanny but that day she went as a guest as she was invited there. She has lived in London and Abudhabi, with us for the last 10 years, never has she faced any problem with her jainsem before. This is the first time her jainsem was pointed out, her looks were pointed out and she was told that she had no right to be at that dining table,” she said while recalling the incident.
Dr Sondhi also said that there has been indirect pressure on them to withdraw the complaint.
Asked on why they have not lodge any FIR against the Club, she however said, “Since there are other forms of redressal, we don’t want to put Talin through the whole criminal justice system,” adding “We want the Club to take cognizance that they have committed an offence and rectify it and issue an apology besides ensuring that their policy is changed.”
Responding to a query, Tailin, who recalled in regret the humiliation that she had to go through, said, “I want action to be taken so that nobody is treated in the way they have treated me.”
It may be mentioned that Tailin Lyngdoh is a governess by profession and has been with the family for over nine and half years.