Meghalaya woman barred for wearing traditional clothes

Delhi, June 27 (source): As instances of discrimination against people from Northeast India sees no end, one is only left wondering where the fault lies with those hailing from this part of the country- looks, attire, a friendly nature, open mindedness, language….and the list goes on but clearly, these cannot be the case.

The fault clearly lies within the minds of people subjecting others to discrimination of any form. In yet another case of discrimination, it has come to light that a Khasi lady hailing from Meghalaya named Tailin Lyngdoh was asked to leave a venue in Delhi for wearing a ‘Jainsem’ and justified their acts by saying the attire made her look like a Maid’!

As per the information given by Nivedita Barthakur, an entrepreneur from Northeast India and Honorary Advisor, Health, Government of Assam with whom Lyngdoh was working as a governess for her son, they were invited for lunch at Delhi Golf Club on June 25. Many guests ranging from philosophers and academicians to bureaucrats and doctors were invited for the event and amongst them was Tailin Lyngdoh, a proud Khasi from Meghalaya who have travelled the world from London to UAE in her Jainsem, her traditional Khasi dress.

15 minutes or so into the lunch, the Manager identified as Ajit Pal and a lady, Sumita Thakur, approached Tailin and reportedly asked her to leave the table and the room as in their words “maids were not allowed”. When Nivedita Barthakur questioned them, they responded by saying that she looked like a maid, a “Nepali” and her dress was different.

“I pointed out that she was an invited guest, she is a Khasi lady and she is wearing her cultural dress, a Jainsem. I even said that I am from Assam and it could have been that she was my relative even; she did not carry a badge that she was a domestic worker!”, Nivedita said.

However, the people refused to change their stance and the others remained mere spectators, with some even commenting, “Pata nahin kahan kahan se ate hain”!
“We left the club feeling stripped of our dignity, feeling vulnerable for being Northeasterners and looking different”, Nivedita rued.

It may be mentioned that Tailin Lyngdoh has travelled the world in her traditional attire, the ‘Jainsem’, and has been to some of the best restaurants in London, Europe and UAE with Nivedita ; However, in her own country, amongst her own countrymen she is humiliated because of her dress, her facial features and her profession.

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