This Classist Sign In Islamabad Has Actually Helped Start Important Conversations About Our Culture

By Sarah Babar | 8 May, 2017

Recently, a classist sign in Islamabad circulated on social media. It was from some elite country club of the capital and caused A LOT of controversy.

I’m not going to talk about one city in particular, though, because this is not a city-centric issue. However, this sign started a lot of conversations that we need to be having.


But what exactly are these conversations?

Are we offended by this sign because we want our ‘maids’ to come in with us so they can take care of our children?

Are we annoyed because where else are we supposed to leave them?

Is it because we treat them like equals and want them there with us?

Is this inhumane, classicism or just idiocy?

Or maybe because we’re saving them from the bigger inferiority complex that they will fall into when they see the lifestyle of the other side?


Yes, this sign irked me, but are we seeing the bigger picture here?

While I’m pretty certain that the intentions of the club weren’t as noble, but there is a perspective that believes that helpers and caretakers shouldn’t be allowed in places like these so that they won’t be discriminated against; so that they are not made to feel like they don’t belong.

Source: Fox Broadcasting Company


This conversation has also been going on at our office, we also realized that not everyone’s experience with maids and ayas is the same

Some of us hear stories of the aya jis that brought our parents up, and how they’re a part of the family. And how they were invited to every close event of the family’s. Similarly, even in my  own house, there came a point where the most respected member of the family was the aya ji who had a huge role in bringing me and my siblings up. Of course, these experiences are also not common, but they just go to show that NOT everyone treats their household help like the demons we think everyone is.

Source: Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions; Warner Bros. Television


There was a lot of murmur about this incident on desi internet

Like this person who made a very interesting observation

And this guy who was wondering if this was also goroun ki doing

And when this one questioned the blatant hypocrisy that exists in our society


This perspective shed a very new light to the discrimination that may happen if maids are allowed inside

And this dude couldn’t help but think of the class-obsessed society that we have become


Ek second


And this guy who went back and got another picture of the signs around the club


One more from the other side


My question still remains, though. Is this a mindset that we all have ingrained within us? Is this something we’ve carried with us for a really long time? Is this our way of not letting the unprivileged know just how unprivileged they are? Is this class difference a new phenomenon altogether? Or is this just a private club’s own policy, which is kinda okay? We’d love to hear what you have to say about this. Till then, let’s all try treating human beings like, well at least human beings, shall we?

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