Saturday, May 8, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Dalits can't enter homes for votes

Dalits can't enter homes for votes
Senthalir S, TNN, May 8, 2010, 04.04am IST

BANGALORE: The IT capital boasts of a cosmopolitan culture, but what
can it say of caste contours a doorstep away? Rural Bangalore is
carrying the vestiges of timeless caste — this time in the gram
panchayat election campaign that has inequality ingrained in it.

This stark reality hits you at Anekal taluk, 40km from IT ethos —
dalits are not allowed inside the houses of non-dalits for many
reasons but also for the gram panchayat election campaign. The
experience is literal: dalits stand at a fair distance from the homes
of non-dalits to talk to them about elections.

Take the case of T M Gopal, a dalit candidate contesting from Praja
Rajakiya Vedike for Tyavakanahalli in Handenahalli gram panchayat of
Anekal taluk. He has been campaigning for the last one-week in
Tyavanahalli, S Medahalli and Sultanpalya villages coming under
Handenahalli gram panchayat.

''It is easy to enter dalits' houses and discuss my agenda for the
village with them. But we are not allowed to enter the houses of
non-dalits. We stand outside and ask for their vote,'' said Gopal. All
the candidates from dalit community have similar experience during

There are 12 candidates in the fray in Handenahalli gram panchayat. Of
them, 6 are contesting for the reserved seat, 4 in general category
and 2 for backward category seats.


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