Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has come to the aid of dhoti patrons, making sure no club or establishment dare deny them entry.
The flutter over dhoti was triggered on July 11 after Madras high court judge justice D Hariparanthaman was barred from entering the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) for wearing one.
On Wednesday, the Tamil Nadu assembly passed a bill seeking to remove the ban imposed by recreational clubs and others on wearing dhoti and other Indian traditional attire.
Introduced by Jayalalithaa, the bill provides for cancellation of licence, punishment of one-year imprisonment and an additional penalty of Rs 25,000 for any violation of the legislation.
The Tamil Nadu Entry into Public Places (Removal of restriction of dress) Act, 2014, was declared passed by voice vote by speaker P Dhanapal. It came into force immediately.
The bill states no recreation club, association, trust, company or society shall make any rule, regulation or bye-law, imposing restriction on entry to any person wearing a ‘veshti’ (dhoti) reflecting Indian culture or any other Indian traditional dress into any public place under its control or management.
According to the statement of reasons and objects of the bill, it was brought to the notice of the government that some clubs were denying entry to persons wearing dhoti reflecting Tamil culture into public places under their control on the ground that they are not wearing dress in keeping with Western culture and it was imperative in that context to introduce and pass the bill in the current session.
Jayalalithaa had earlier assured the House that an act to remove the dhoti ban would be brought in the current session.