Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I live in a large residential complex, full of well-maintained highrises, landscaped gardens, 24-hour security and a clubhouse with gym, pool, playing area, et al. I also live in A.D. 2008, when India has supposedly been independent for over 60 years, with a Constitution claiming equality for all its citizens.
So can anybody explain the atrocious anomaly of the notice in front of the club which says "MAIDSERVANTS NOT ALLOWED". Long, long ago, the colonial rulers declared "Dogs and Indians not Allowed", barring the 'natives' entry to posh clubs meant only for the 'whites'. It was unjust, demeaning and dehumanising. The freedom struggle was meant to change all that.
Sorry, but it did not. We still have discriminations - against the poor, against other religions/castes/classes/genders, even against people not dressed 'appropriately' (who are denied entry to certain restaurants/nightclubs). The OTHER is always hated and barred.
My maid (I dislike the term 'servant') lives with me, cares for and loves my children. She goes to this club when she is accompanying the children, who sometimes like to play there. She is the support-system who allows me to have a career, a life of my own. She is a free citizen who lives in a free country, the 'largest democracy in the world'. She is certified sane, has no criminal record, and is a professional who is earning money legitimately. She is also completely invaluable to me.
Then why is she being denied entryto the club - which, by definition, means a common space to be enjoyed by all members. I am a tenant, so I am a member by default; so are my husband and daughters. WHY is this club out-of-bounds for maid-servants (what about man-servants?)? Because they are poor? Because they are not owners/tenants/heirs of owners? Because they do not have a voice?
It is such a SHAME that such blatant discrimination persists in a free country. I'm really, really disgusted. Wouldn't you be?


sarangis said...

the rigours of settling in i would say.times and preferences change with places and people.its probably the same reason why your maid is not so educated as your kids and the reason why she has to look after ur kids while ur away at college imparting education.educating urself is what inspires the world.strange as it may sound.u gotta do it when u gotta do it cause from now on its a free concert.u gotta paly it well n play it sumay.

chambilkethakur said...

go and slap the bloody chairman of society at least twice and ask him to replace it with something like criminals not allowed or politicians not allowed, i think that will look more approp.

chambilkethakur said...

non-violent... so i must suggest u resort to some intelligent boycott, u need to atleast stir a flame of awareness among residents of ur society and then protest in front of the chairman's office.
Ny the way the initpidzero is not my regular blog, that is just unix, C philosophy blog.
My regular blog is Sapota).

chambilkethakur said...

huh, typo once again Sapota).

The Scatterbrain said...

It is a pity that change doesn't affect all areas of society. I would go with Chambi...'s non-violent idea.

I wonder if the person who came up with the rule has his children locked up all day while he goes to work!

A live in maid sure is a part of the family!

lopamudra said...

We are unaware of 'dignity of labour'.So many such incidents make you ponder whether we are human enough.The maidservice is the grossly overexploited sector.They are not organized hence open to discrimination/exploitation.How many days leaves do they get? We expect them to come to work everyday.It takes a while to change people's mindset to think them as humans with feelings.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

All of you are so right. I do try to give my maid as much leave as I possibly can. She gets alternate weekends off. She also goes to her gaon (native place) whenever I have a long holiday, like summer vacations in May, Diwali or Christmas vacations. But I realise that, because of my holiday-filled job as a college teacher, I can afford to give her so many holidays.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

By the way, thought I would tell you the latest on this. After protests by the saner members of the club, the management has taken off the notice saying no entry to maidservants. Lip service is better than no service, eh?