Saba, a working professional, was in for a rude shock on Wednesday when she was asked to leave a popular club in the city for wearing “Indian attire”.
“I looked at myself and I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt under a burqa and hijab,” says Saba, who went to Lost Society, Jubilee Hills, around 6 pm on Wednesday with a friend only to be shown the door after they were seated.
After the incident, Saba wrote a review on the club’s Facebook page, which attracted a lot of attention from club goers and consequently the owner of the club. “Awesome to know how you guys discriminate against Muslims! I visited with my friend to grab a quick bite only to be rudely asked to leave because I was wearing a burqa!” read her post.
The post was followed by a thread of comments peppered with heated arguments between Saba and the owner of Lost Society, Bobby. Saba also alleges that her first post was deleted and she had to repost her complaint “to be heard!”
It is a very sensitive issue for Saba as it was her own choice to adopt the hijab. “No one in my family wears a burqa. It was my choice to wear it and I made this decision about two years ago. And to be judged for something that is a choice that I have made, just enrages me. People should know about what’s happening. What they did was completely discriminatory,” she alleges.
Bobby, the owner of the club, calls it an “unfortunate incident”. “It is not just the burqa, there have been instances when people have been asked to leave for wearing a sari to the club. We have a dress code that requires the guests to be in Western attire. But to bring in religion into the issue is just wrong. We have many other customers from the community who have no issues with our policies,” says Bobby, before going on to allege that this was an attempt by competitors to sully the club’s name.
When asked if the club would consider relaxing the dress code or may be revising it, Bobby explains, “We have already relaxed the dress code a month ago due to the increase in the number of such cases. But this was just one of those incidents that happened and won’t be repeated.”