Bengaluru: A. Narayanaswamy, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament from Chitradurga, in Karnataka, was denied entry into a village because he is a Dalit, belonging to a community classified as ‘Scheduled Caste’. The bizarre incident took place on Monday and highlights the deep-seated social prejudices prevalent in rural India.
Narayanswamy was denied entry into Gollarhatti, a settlement of members of the Golla community in Paavgada taluk of Tumakuru district, about 100 km from Bengaluru. Gollas or Yadavas are come under ‘Other Backward Castes’ in Karnataka.
The BJP MP confirmed he was denied entry into the village by some residents. The lawmaker was accompanying representatives of Biocon Ltd, Narayan Hryudayala, and other companies to bring to light the poor condition of the schools in the region and to encourage CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activity.
"Some people asked me not to enter the village while some others opposed this, "Narayanswamy said. He said the “discussions" went on for about half hour and that he left because he didn't want the villagers to fight amongst themselves.
The police are investigating the incident.
Narayanaswamy has, however, said that it was important to educate the people rather than making arrests. "Filing FIR or arresting is not the solution. We need to educate them," he said.
The MP said he was confident that the villagers would see benefit of CSR activities, and “will only invite me back to their village."