Class discrimination is an outcome of internalized social prejudices and biases. Class is a crucial factor that gets ascribed to us at the time of our birth. In Pakistani society, classism is quite prevalent in nearly all areas of life. The social stratification plays a huge role in social image and attitude towards individuals. In Pakistan, the discrimination of working and labor class is quite prevalent. It’s not uncommon to come across a picture of a maid sitting in the corner of a restaurant, teary-eyed with no food to eat while the rest of the family is enjoying a hearty meal. In many public spaces, even the owners discriminate against maids and drivers as they have banned their entry to maintain the “elitist atmosphere” of their place.
The problem is not only the discriminatory attitude of the employers of maids or drivers. What is far more problematic is the systematic biases professed by owners of restaurants and other public spaces that are degrading towards the working class. There are very few public spaces in Pakistan that have a no-discrimination policy. Letting these poor people enter the premises of our bourgeoisie rendezvous is a farfetched idea, let alone providing the working class with any perks.
Much to our surprise, if we look back at our rich legacy of the Mughal era, we will find that the culture and environment of Mughal courtrooms were very inclusive. Inclusivity is a long forgone ideal which is much needed to be brought back in this era of prevalent social inequality.
We at The Poet Restaurant have taken an initiative to end the social discrimination of the working-class, especially maids and drivers. We not only welcome maids and drivers along with their employers for dine-in but also provide them with free food as a gesture of courtesy and goodwill. No more teary-eyed maids in the corner! The Poet Restaurant knows how to put a smile on their faces.