A complex of flats on MG Road in Gurugram, Essel Towers, recently came under fire for its regressive rules that do not allow “mixing of boys and girls”. A video (above) doing the rounds online shows a shrill argument between two residents over the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) not allowing women guests to visit bachelor residents inside the apartment complex, and asking them for identification.
“Give me your landlord’s name, I will tell him you are supporting prostitution in this society,” screams a male resident in the video. Resident Shivani Singh, who shared the video on social media, said, “We saw some women who had been harassed and were crying since they were stopped and not allowed to meet their friends. We offered to help them. That is when we were told we are supporting prostitution.” Singh is a tenant at Pilot Court, a gated block within Essel Towers.
A day after the incident, the RWA reportedly issued a notice that said: “Visitors other than immediate family members…are not allowed after 22.00 hours and before 08.00 hours (and not allowed to stay overnight).” The notice also bars men and women from occupying the same flat unless they’re married or are relatives. The tenants responded to the notice, saying: “We shall not provide proof of our relationship with our guests. Most of the tenants are fully grown adults with independent will.”
Essel Towers had made news in April 2017 for discriminatory housing policies set by the RWA. According to reports, a notice passed by Essel Towers Maintenance Private Limited, and the Essel Towers Residents’ Welfare Association said: “Where only girls are staying boy visitors shall not be allowed and where boys are staying girl visitors shall not be allowed.” While the tenants protested against the move, the RWA reportedly said the “youngsters have brought it upon themselves by creating ruckus in the society in the odd hours”.