Kolkata, June 13 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Kolkata intellectuals led by painter Shuvaprasanna, here on Monday staged a demonstration of at the Calcutta Club, protesting the imposition of colonial dress code on visitors.
The Club, an exclusive social hub for the wealthy in the city located on the Lower Circular Road of Kolkata that historically restricted membership to women until 2007, requires visitors to wear a formal western attire.
Apparently miffed at not being allowed to enter the club premises for wearing Indian clothes, Shuvaprasanna a 64-year-old artist mostly seen sporting a kurta and known for his public tirade against the just-ousted Left regime in the state, led the protest on Monday.
Lashing out at the 104-year old club, he said, “’I fail to understand what makes the Calcutta Club impose such dress code on its members in an independent India. There is nothing vulgar in wearing a kurta.”
“When we can meet the world wearing our dress why cannot we flaunt it in Calcutta Club,” he said.
Joining him, poet Joy Goswami said, “I believe a club which imposes such strict English dress code on visitors is actually feeding colonial culture in a free India and one must protest it.”
Painter Samir Aich said, “Such archaic rules not only hurts the dignity of a person but also encourages class divisions.”
Late painter M F Hussain and social activist Himashu Kumar were in the past famously denied entry into the the club for not adhering to its western dress code.
The influential protesters, who were backed by city luminaries like Mahasweta Debi, Aparna Sen, Jogen Choudhury, Sandip Ray, Rutuparna Ghosh, among others, also submitted a deputation to the club authority.
Photos by Avishek Mitra/IBNS