‘Are you Muslim? Are you from Kashmir? ‘: Delhi resto-bar accused of fanaticism over dress code, religion
A South Delhi hotel establishment is making headlines for a second time for allegedly denying guests entry on the basis of their religion and dress. Mir Junaid, president of the Workers’ Party of Jammu and Kashmir, had gone to dinner with his family at We Qutub, a resto-bar, on September 15 when he was arrested at the front door for his ethnic clothes.
“When I asked why I couldn’t come in, they said ‘We don’t allow people in their ethnic Indian clothes’,” says Junaid, who was dressed in kurta pajamas paired with a waistcoat. “A tall guy at the door later asked, are you a Muslim? Are you from Kashmir? And then two guys left to chat and came back to tell me that I will not be allowed in,” Junaid said who tried several numbers on the internet to reach the restaurant manager at the time of the incident. “It was so insulting and humiliating. My two friends were already there, who had booked a table. If tomorrow you go in your sari, how would you feel if you were arrested?” Junaid asks.
In 2019, Delhi-based fashion designer Param Sahib took to Instagram to share his experience with We Qutub on a Saturday night when he was banned from entering the South Delhi salon because of his pink turban. When THE WEEK spoke to him at the time, Param recalled the club manager saying that his look was not “classic” enough and that the beard should have been properly trimmed and gelled. He tagged the restaurant on social media the next day. His post was shared and republished several times in a day before it hit the headlines: “Sikh man refused entry to fancy Delhi restaurant”. The owners of the club have embarked on a damage check and have offered an apology and even money as compensation. Param had declared that he categorically refused any financial settlement. Calling them out for this hurtful behavior was never about the money, Param said in 2019.
Junaid also called the restaurant on his Twitter account, tagging Delhi Police Commissioner, Home Secretary’s office and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “This incident was really shocking to me because I did not expect this thing to happen to me, this too in the nation’s capital. It has been 75 years since our independence and some of us still believe in superiority Western culture and clothing Action must be taken against the restaurant owners as this practice of discrimination is constitutionally prohibited and illegal, “Junaid said.
We, the director of Qutub, Bhupender Singh, denied being aware of the incident when THE WEEK asked for clarification.