Recently, we celebrated India’s 69th Independence Day. 69 years ago we achieved freedom. Freedom of equal rights, secularism and all the nice things our constitution was built on. Well, apparently this restaurant in Kasol didn’t get that memo yet.
Kasol has long been the escape everyone wishes for. Backpackers, foreigners and Indian alike have headed there to relax, unwind, sit by rivers, smoke a certain substance and just sit by and let the nature take over. It is also home to a large population of Israeli. Visitors here usually find internet cafes, body piercing parlours, reggae bars with signage in Hebrew. But recently, it’s been in the news after this post from Stephen Kaye.
According to Stephen, his Indian friend was denied entry by the owner, an Indian himself saying that it was a ‘member only’ cafe. But when Stephen, a foreigner himself, asked for a menu he was given one. When confronted, the owner stood his ground about not serving them and tried to make them leave. And when they tried to get the attention of other diners, all foreigners, they were ignored, says Kaye. He ends the post by giving the owner’s justification of the exclusion, saying that he ‘was in a bad mood’.
The photograph was posted on Monday evening and went viral by Tuesday morning with almost a 1000 shares. People are outraged and have taken to social media to express their concerns.
Another friend of the woman who was refused service also took to Facebook to complain about the blatant discrimination.
Following this, the administration in Kullu has initiated an immediate inquiry into the matter.
Kullu’s deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar said he had directed the district’s superintendent of police to look into the matter even though there was no written or formal complaint.
Superintendent of police Padam Chand said police officials had gone to the area to find out details of the alleged discrimination against Indians.
A preliminary investigation had revealed land was leased by the tourism department for the cafe but it was not meant for commercial use by foreigners. “But still we are looking into the matter (to ascertain) if that lease is legal and valid,” Chand said.
Social Media is a powerful tool, don’t you agree?
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