Religion card? Islam Gymkhana bans rummy

MUMBAI: The 129-year-old sea-facing Islam Gymkhana near Marine Drive, a popular sports hub and centre for socio-cultural activities, is in the eye of a storm after its president Yusuf Abrahni banned rummy and other card games on its premises.
Claiming that some members indulged in gambling while playing rummy, Abrahni closed the card room on Friday, which was Eid-e-Milad. The members have alleged that “a very religious” Abrahni is changing the Gymkhana’s “liberal” character and turning it into a “madrassa”.
“If Abrahni knew that some members gambled at the Gymkhana, why didn’t he lodge a complaint?” asked Ishtiaq Ali, a member. “It is a club not a madrassa. He should not play the religion card.”
Abrahni, a former Congress MLA, said: “We encourage all games and sports, but some members, in the name of playing rummy or cards, gambled. Our records show that there were five guests for one member at the cards room.”
“We have added over a dozen games, including tennis, badminton, volleyball, a women’s recreation section, a state-of-the-art gym, jacuzzi, steam bath, sauna bath and spa. Those who say I have turned it into a madrassa should explain which madrassa has spa and steam bath facilities,” he said.
But Asif Farooqui, another member, said: “If they want to stop gambling, they should do it. But preventing members, especially sen-ior citizens, from playing cards is wrong.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *