In what can be labelled as the ‘saree row’, a woman claimed that a restaurant denied entry over wearing saree. Meanwhile, new CCTV footage showed her slapping staff. Moreover, another CCTV footage also showed other patrons wearing saree making their way into restaurant without fuss.
Earlier on Wednesday, September 22, Delhi’s Aquila Restaurant found itself on the receiving end of a major backlash. A woman had taken to her social media and had alleged that the restaurant had denied her entry as she was wearing a saree which the restaurant labelled as not a ‘smart outfit’.
Some high-profile restaurants in India have their own dress-code for both their male and female patrons. While this is done to add a sense of uniformity and exclusivity, this also became the reason of a massive controversy.
Recently, a woman in Delhi brewed storm by alleging that a restaurant denied her entry because she was wearing saree. A day after the incident transpired, the restaurant broke its silence and gave evidences to a different version of the story.
The Facts of the Matter
On Wednesday, conversations over national identity broke out after Anita Choudhary alleged that a Delhi restaurant’s staff didn’t allow her to dine in as she wasn’t wearing saree. The woman had taken to her Facebook and shared a video where she can be heard agitatedly having a confrontation with the staff.
In the video, a female staffer of Delhi’s Aquila restaurant can be heard saying, “Ma’am, we allow only smart casuals and saree is not counted as smart casuals.” The woman seeks proof from the staff and can be heard asking in an irritable tone, “Show me that saree is not allowed.”
She further turns the camera to focus on other staff member and asks her to give the same testimony.
“Humiliation was bigger than any other humiliation”
Taking to Facebook, she shared the video and wrote, “The humiliation that happened to my saree yesterday was bigger and more heart-wrenching than any other humiliation that happened to me till now. By the way, I am also putting the photo of my sloppy Indian dress saree here, I realized that I was looking more beautiful and smart than all the other clothes wearing there.”
Saree Row Triggers Outrage on Twitter
She also took to Twitter and shared the same video. Within minutes, the incident gone viral and she received massive support from netizens.
seriously. Such eating places have no right to even exist in Independent India. I am sure the license needs to be cancelled for such Restaurants/clubs who are against ethnic wear.
— 𝓑𝓚 🇮🇳 (@incognitobk) September 21, 2021
Denying entry bcos the patron is dressed in torn,shredded jeans or is wearing inappropriate footwear is perfectly understandable, but refusing entry for being draped in a saree is absolute ऽtupidity.
The management of d restaurant-bar should be strictly penalised for this action
— ms.sunshine_d🇮🇳 (@Rightweety) September 21, 2021
restaurant should pay fine to the customer with apology & the same should be advertised
— Kannan (@Kannan09609880) September 21, 2021
Well it reminded me of a time when famous hotels and public places had display board stating "Indian and Dogs are not allowed" ,by not allowing saree as an attire is synonymous with the same incident.
— K K🇮🇳 (@kushkch) September 21, 2021
— Shejal Joshi Bjp (@JoshiShejal) September 21, 2021
This is absolutely unacceptable. And the lady from the restaurant isnt even apologetic about this stupid rule. She was downright rude!!
— Smita Pathak 🇮🇳 (@pathaksmita) September 22, 2021
Meanwhile, the restaurant has also been shunned by netizens who are now giving it a low rating on Zomato.
Aquila restaurant in Delhi which did not allow a woman wearing saree to enter citing dress code is being hammered on Zomato 😂 Rating down to 2 and being trashed in reviews pic.twitter.com/lRuhXvzRrz
— मेहरान 🇮🇳 (@mehranzaidi) September 22, 2021
Saree is not allowed in #aquilarestaurant Delhi as Indian Saree is now not an smart outfit. What is the concrete definition of Smart outfit plz tell me, Please define smart outfit so our women(Maa/Sis/Wife/Daughter) will stop wearing saree.
Boycotts this types of Restaurants. pic.twitter.com/kh5CHmBC3y
— Ashutosh Srivastav (@TheGrtAshutosh) September 22, 2021
The restaurant in Delhi (Aquila) that denied entry to a lady because she was wearing saree has terrible ratings everywhere. On Google the rating is 1.1/5. On Zomato it’s 2/5. It’s not the first time they have erred. Checkout the past reviews, everyone who has been there hates it.
— Shubhendu (@BBTheorist) September 21, 2021
Hours after the incident transpired and the restaurant received its share of flak, it chose to broke the silence. Taking to Twitter, the restaurant issued a statement. “We chose to stay silent till now and have been patiently watching the situation related to the incident that took place at Aquila on the 19th of September unfold,” the restaurant’s statement read.
“Guest Slapped Our Manager”: Aquila Restaurant’s Massive Revelation
The restaurant claimed that the woman was asked to wait at the gate as there was no reservation made under her name. However, the woman “began to fight and abuse” the restaurant staff. “What unfolded after was beyond our imagination, with the guest slapping our manager”, the restaurant added. The restaurant further added that the staff told the woman that saree is not part of the dress code to “tackle the situation”, and further apologized for the same.
The restaurant also shared multiple CCTV footages. The first CCTV footage was of a woman who’s assaulting a staff member. Aquila restaurant is claiming that it’s the same woman.
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The second footage is that of other women wearing sarees making their way into the restaurant without fuss.
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