He heard something that was supposed to have ended when the British left India in 1947. The declaration: “We don’t serve Indians!”
It is what an unsuspecting Mayank Bhatnagar had to hear at an Indian restaurant in Dublin, Ireland as he went to the eatery expecting a casual lunch with two of his colleagues.
Justice is served
Now, a year after the incident, the restaurant owner, Ravi Shukla, who discriminated against Bhatnagar, has been ordered to pay Bhatnagar 3,000 euros to compensate him for the distress caused to him over the refusal of service, according to the Irish Examiner, daily based in the country.
The discrimination case was brought before Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in Ireland and Commissioner Marie Flynn handled the case.
According to the report, Flynn stated that she decided on the compensation amount under the Equal Status Act that has been in place since 2000 in Ireland. The act aims to guarantees to ‘prohibit discrimination in the provision of goods and services, accommodation and education’.
She also said that she was taking account of the embarrassment that was caused to Bhatnagar when he was refused service in front of two subordinate colleagues.
Bhatnagar told the WRC that he is Indian, and he was discriminated against on basis of race.
He stated that that he visited the restaurant, Ravi’s Kitchen, on July 10, 2018, with two colleagues for lunch at around 12:30 pm and that they were shown to a table by a female waiter.
Once the group was handed the menus by Shukla, Bhatnagar asked him if it would take long to get served as they had limited time for lunch.
According to the victim, without answering his question, the owner asked him if he was Indian. Once he said that he is, Shukla said that he doesn’t serve Indians and Bhatnagar had to leave.
As the group was leaving, the restaurant owner continued to shout and the female waiter also started shouting in their direction.
The restaurant owner or any representative from Ravi’s Kitchen did not attend the WRC hearing.
However, the Irish Examiner reported that in an interview Shukla said on August 20 that he didn’t attend the WRC hearing because he never received notification to appear.
Restaurant owner denies the incident
Shukla who is a native of northern India himself, recalls the incident entirely differently from what Bhatnagar stated. Shukla said that he did not refuse serving him due to his nationality.
In the Irish Examiner’s report, Shukla was quoted as saying: “I refused to serve him because he was unhappy with how long the lunch would take, and he wanted a buffet and we didn’t have a buffet.”
Shukla said that he was disappointed with the ruling “because I did not get a chance to speak”.
However, Flynn stated that based on the evidence presented by Bhatnagar: “I am satisfied that he has established that he was treated less favourably than a person who was not Indian would be treated in a comparable situation.”