In a recent incident that has sparked massive outrage online, a housing society in Bengaluru has issued a set of instructions to maids, asking them not to roam in common areas. Now, this has drawn criticism from Twitter users and shed light on the prevailing biases within gated societies across Indian cities. The controversy came to light when a Twitter user named Vibin Babuurajan shared a screenshot of a circular that outlined the instructions.
The circular stated that residents were feeling “uncomfortable” due to the presence of maids in common areas. The society urged them to stay in designated waiting areas during their breaks. The rationale provided was that security personnel were unable to monitor the common areas effectively. The circular also mentioned that some residents had stopped using the sofas in the building reception as it is used by cooks, carpenters, and plumbers.
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The online community strongly condemned these discriminatory practices and questioned the inhumanity of residents. Many Twitter users highlighted that such restrictions were often justified under the pretext of security concerns but were rooted in unfounded biases. These stereotype individuals from lower-income backgrounds as potential criminals or unclean.
And they don’t mind the same maids slogging away in their homes. And the last para? Go sit on the sofas at your homes then. These are hardworking people who run your lives for you.
— Varsh (@varshabagadia) June 21, 2023
The comments section of the tweet was filled with criticism of this behaviour. Users pointed out the hypocrisy of accepting domestic workers inside their homes to cook and clean while considering their presence in common spaces unpleasant. One user noted, “The same maid roaming in your house, cooking for you, cleaning for you is okay. But seeing them around you in the park is troublesome? Pathetic!”
The same maid roaming in your house, cooking for you, cleaning for you is ok. But seeing them around you in the park is troublesome?
— Shadab Mozaffar (@ShadabMozaffar) June 21, 2023
Amid the backlash, another Twitter user proposed an alternative solution: “The solution to not having to see maids everywhere is to do your own mopping and dishwashing.”
The solution to not having to see maids everywhere is to do your own mopping and dishwashing.
— the akshay (@theakshay) June 21, 2023
The incident in Bengaluru serves as a reminder of the prevailing biases and discriminatory practices that persist within gated communities across Indian cities. It highlights the urgent need for society to confront these.