April,21,2015: The apex court held that the bar on women was sheer gender bias
The Cine Costume, Make-up Artist & Hair Dressers Association of Mumbai on Monday informed a Supreme Court bench of Justices Dipak Misra and P.C. Pant that woman make-up artist Charu Khurana has been registered as a member and she would be getting her membership card soon.
The announcement ended Ms. Khurana’s decade-long battle with the Association that had banned the entry of women.
“In January, I was hired by a TV channel as a make-up artist for an interview with U.S. President Barack Obama. In October last year, I did make-up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. My clients include Indian cricket player Virat Kohli and other top film actors, but yet the Association has failed to recognise my services to the field,” Ms. Khurana said.
In fact, the Supreme Court had in November last ordered the Association to drop its “obstinacy” and open its doors to women. But the Association had managed to come back with one excuse or the other.
“What is happening in this country? First comply with our orders. Give her the membership,” a visibly annoyed Justice Misra told the Association's lawyer on Monday.
Ms. Khurana said her struggle for equal treatment began 10 years ago when she first approached the Bombay High Court against the no-entry rule.
She also moved the National Commission for Women, where the case remained pending for five years before she finally knocked on the Supreme Court's doors.
In a petition, Ms. Khurana and eight other women make-up artists detailed how women were discriminated. The petition, filed through advocate Jyotika Kalra, asked why women still faced discrimination despite having gained entry in all spheres of public life.
The apex court held that the bar on women was sheer gender bias. It said the gender classification “affected their constitutional rights to be treated with equality”.
But Ms. Khurana has more to accomplish.
“The Association does not allow members to do personal make-up for the first three years after being enrolled. Why should a talented, qualified make-up artist have to wait for three years to work top-notch personal make-up? Why should an Association have monopoly over the personal decision of an actor or a celebrity to use the services of a particular artist?” Ms. Khurana said.
The Supreme Court will hear her on this point in August.Hindu