After the ‘aquila saree’ controversy which led to the restaurant’s license revoked, Virat Kohli’s restaurant ‘Commune’ is facing outrage from LGBT groups. The restaurant has been accused of having a discriminatory conduct towards people from the LGBTQIA+ groups. An activist group called ‘Yes We Exist’, took to Instagram to allege that Kohli’s group of restaurants has an “unacceptable” policy towards member of the LGBTQIA+ members. The group further alleged that on the Zomato listing of the restaurant it’s been mentioned that only “cisgender heterosexual couples or groups of cisgender women” were allowed to enter the restaurant.
Meanwhile, a day after the group came with its allegations, the restaurant issued its statement claiming that only ‘stag entries are not allowed’ keeping in mind the safety of female patrons.
On September 2018, the Indian Supreme Court passed a landmark judgement, invalidating a part of Section 377 of the IPC which criminalized homosexuality in India. After the legalization of homosexuality, the Indian government was lauded for bringing in the change which was much needed.
However, same-sex marriages is still not legal in India, and people belonging to LGBT groups still face stigmas in various aspects of their lives. From being openly mocked to facing employment issues due to their gender or sexual preference, a lot is still desired.
To promote the rights of people belonging in this community, several groups are making strides using social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
One such group recently alleged that prominent cricketer Virat Kohli’s restaurant holds a discriminatory policy against their community members.
The Facts of the Matter
After facing heat due to his performance on the cricket field, ODI skipper Virat Kohli is facing the heat of LGBTQIA+ community. Reportedly, an activism group called “Yes, We Exist”, alleged that Kohli’s restaurant One8 Commune discriminated against the LGBTQIA+ community.
Here’s what ‘Yes, We Exist’ Alleged
The Instagram post that the page shared claimed that the Virat Kohli’s restaurant has a no entry for people belonging in the LGBTQIA+ members. The lengthy post shared by the group stated that the restaurant confirmed, “gay couples or a group of men are not allowed; trans women are allowed subject to their clothing”.
The group further stated that, “Discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ guests is common at such fancy restaurants, bars and clubs in India, and Virat Kohli is no exception.”
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“Stag Entry for Female Patrons’ Safety”: One8 Commune Issues Clarification
After the issue spread like wildfire, the restaurant took to its Instagram and shared a statement issuing a clarification. ““At One8 Commune, we believe in welcoming all people irrespective of their gender and/or preferences with utmost respect and honour. As our name denotes, we have always been inclusive in serving all communities since our inception,” the statement read.
“Similar to industry wide practice and in conformity with government rules, we obviously have a prohibition of stag entry. policy (subject to necessary relaxation) in place so as to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for our guests,” the restaurant’s clarification stated.
The statement further read, “That does not in any way. mean that our company policy provides any discriminatory entry rules for/against any particular community.’
The Recent Aquila “Saree” Controversy
Earlier in September this year, a woman was allegedly “denied” entry at a Delhi-based restaurant called ‘Aquila’ as she was wearing saree. The patron had taken to her Facebook and had shared a video where a female staffer was telling her, “Ma’am, we allow only smart casuals and saree is not counted as smart casuals.”
Later, the restaurant came up with their own side of the story and alleged that the woman had slapped the female staffer. To have the matters not escalate, the restaurant decided to tell her that she wasn’t allowed. The restaurant further alleged that the woman had no reservations.
After multiple rounds of ‘he said-she said’, the restaurant was probed. It was found out that it was operated under unhygienic conditions. The license of the restaurant was revoked as well.