India's Tamil Nadu state to change club dress code

Dhoti Many men in India wear dhoti - a traditional sarong-like garment tied at the waist

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The chief minister of India's Tamil Nadu state has said she will bring in a new law to stop private clubs from enforcing strict dress codes.

J Jayalaithaa's warning came after a high court judge was refused entry to a club because he was wearing a dhoti - a traditional sarong-like garment.

Ms Jayalalithaa said the club's move made "a mockery of Tamil culture" and amounted to "sartorial despostism".

Western dress codes are strictly adhered to by several clubs in India.

Correspondents say it is a practice that dates back to colonial times and often bars those not wearing trousers, collared shirts or closed shoes.

Controversy erupted last week when the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) Club in Chennai (formerly Madras) denied Madras High Court Justice Hariparanthaman from attending a book release.

"After over 60 years of independence, I can't accept this. They can have rules for their members, not for visitors who come on invitation," NDTV channel quoted the upset judge as saying.

Several senior politicians in Tamil Nadu have criticised the TNCA move and demanded a change in the dress code followed by private clubs.

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