Led by golfer Rashid Khan, professional caddies allege favouritism, say not given a fair chance to play within the DGC.
New Delhi: Caddies at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) in the national capital are up in arms over alleged discrimination at the hands of the DGC administration.
Led by two-time Asian Tour-winning golfer Rashid Khan, the caddies have alleged favouritism on the part of the club, saying that they are not given a fair chance to play within the DGC due to their humble backgrounds.
Speaking to ThePrint, Khan said that despite being built on “government land,” the DGC is being run as a “private club” catering to the interests of an “elite community.”
Khan alleged that family members of “well to do families” easily get membership at the club instead of waiting for a “minimum of 30 years” — the time that the club agrees is the minimum required period to become a member.
The caddies have also alleged that their contracts are terminated if they complain about the discrimination they face.
One caddie even alleged a threat to his life.
Khan said the administrative policies of the DGC are ruining the future of golfers in the country. He added that he will approach the Delhi high court as well as the central government if the discrimination against caddies continued.
However, DGC president Major (Retd) Ravinder Singh Bedi rubbished the allegations, saying that no such discrimination is made by the administration.
‘Rules don’t apply’
Earlier this month in Delhi, the 2010 Asian Games silver medalist told reporters that the DGC had once stopped caddie-turned-players from practising at the Delhi Golf Course in 2012.
He feared that the club might do the same again.
Khan said, “These rules do not apply to golfers coming from other sections. They don’t want us to play.”
“Golf, an Olympic sport, is not like cricket which can be played in parks or roads, a proper golf-course is required in order to practice the sport,” Khan told ThePrint.
“Where will the young golfers in this country who comes from humble backgrounds practice?” he asked.
The Delhi Golf Club is situated on public land in the heart of national capital and runs on government lease. The lease was extended for a period of 28 years in 2012.
One of the professional caddies, Honey Baisoya said he seen an instance of another professional being suspended by the club earlier after his 10-year old son was seen practicing at the premises.
Former caddie Shamim Khan also claimed “favouritism” on part of the authorities.
Another professional caddie, Rudresh Sharma said that he fears that his life will be in danger if he “complains about the Delhi Golf Club to any authority.”
“The General Committee of the DGC can do away with a caddie’s career just on their whims and fancies,” alleged Satish Singh, also a professional caddie.
The DGC president, however, termed the allegations as “complete rubbish.”
Asked if it’s true that people coming from humble backgrounds are facing severe challenges to become a member of the Delhi Golf Club, Bedi said, “I’m a person coming from middle class and I do have a membership.”
Bedi said now that Khan’s earnings are in “seven figures,” he is thinking of himself as “the god almighty.”
“The club has nurtured Rashid Khan like a child, it is in the club only that he learned how to communicate with others in the English language,” Bedi told ThePrint.
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