A South Delhi hotel is making headlines for a second time for allegedly refusing entry to guests on the basis of religion and dress. Mir Junaid, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Workers Party, had gone to have a family dinner at We Qutub, a resto-bar, on September 15 when he was arrested at the front door for his ethnic clothes.
“When I asked why I couldn’t come in, they said, ‘We don’t allow people in their ethnic Indian attire,'” says Junaid, dressed in a kurta-pajama paired with a vest. “A tall guy at the door asked later, are you Muslim? Are you from Kashmir? numbers on the internet to reach the restaurant manager at the time of the incident. “It was so insulting and humiliating. My two friends were already there, who had reserved a table. If tomorrow you go there in a sari, how would you feel if you were arrested?” Junaid asks.
In 2019, a Delhi-based fashion designer, Param Sahib, took to Instagram to recount his experience to We Qutub on a Saturday night when he was banned from entering the South Delhi salon due to of his pink turban. When THE WEEK spoke to him at the time, Param recalled the club manager saying his look wasn’t “chic” enough and the beard should have been properly trimmed and gelled. He tagged the restaurant on social media the next day. His post was shared and reposted several times in a day before making headlines: “A Sikh man was refused entry to a fancy restaurant in Delhi.” The club owners embarked on a damage control and issued an apology and even money as compensation. Param had declared that he categorically refused any financial settlement. Calling them out for this hurtful behavior was never about the money, Param said in 2019.
Junaid also called out the restaurant on his Twitter account, tagging Delhi Police Commissioner, Home Secretary’s Office and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “This incident was really shocking to me because I did not expect this thing to happen to me, this too in the nation’s capital. It has been 75 years since our independence and some of us still believe in superiority of Western culture and dress. Action must be taken against the owners of the restaurant as this practice of discrimination is constitutionally prohibited and illegal,” Junaid said.
We Qutub director Bhupender Singh denied knowledge of the incident when THE WEEK asked for clarification.