On Sept. 16, Chitradurga MP A Narayanaswamy was blocked from entering a hamlet in Karnataka by residents of the village.

Karnataka Dalit MP receives a warm welcome from village that denied him entryRepresentation photo
news Controversy Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 09:21

Just a week after Chitradurga’s Dalit MP A Narayanaswamy was stopped from entering a hamlet in Karnataka, the members of the community organised a grand program to welcome him into the village on Monday.

People of Pemmanahalli Gollarahatti, members of the Golla (Yadava) community, had stopped Chitradurga MP from entering their village last week. Speaking to TNM, MP Narayanaswamy says that Thippesh, one of the elders in the Gollarahatti, had been in touch with him ever since the incident occurred on September 16.

“I know many people from the Gollarahatti personally. Some of them are my friends. When several people of the community refused to let me inside, a few of them got together and held talks with members of the Gollarahatti. On Friday, Thippesh informed me that the community members were organising a program to welcome me into the village,” Narayanaswamy said.

On the morning of September 16, Narayanaswamy’s convoy including representatives from Biocon and Narayana Hrudayalaya, entered the mud path leading to the Gollarahatti. As he convoy reached the entrance of the village, they were stopped by the residents. The MP, who belongs to the Madiga community, was shunned in Gollarahatti (settlement of Golla community). The Madiga community is a Dalit artisan group classified as a Scheduled Caste. The MP had told TNM that the Gollas believe that Dalits entering their village was a bad omen. 

"I have worked for over 20 years and I have never experienced this. I do not see people through the lens of caste. Neither do I have it in my mind that I am from a particular caste. I won't try to forcefully go to the village again because I want the people of the village to understand this is wrong and welcome people from my community there," Narayanaswamy had told The News Minute at the time.

But on Monday morning, the village appeared to have a change of heart. A grand procession was organised and members of the Gollarahatti showered flowers and garlanded Narayanaswamy.

The planned event went on for over three hours with speech made by seers of both the Madiga and Yadava communities. Pemmanahalli Gollarahatti is in Tumakuru district’s Pavagada taluk. Although Pavagada is in a different district, the area falls under the Chitradurga Lok Sabha segment, which Narayanaswamy represents. On September 16, Narayanaswamy, along with officials with Biocon, had gone to the Gollarahatti to discuss developmental works that could be carried out with the help of CRS funds.

“There are many people who are educated in the Gollarahatti but there are a few who believe in superstition. They believe that Dalits entering their village is a bad omen. Madara Chennaiah Swami, pontiff of Kaginele Mutt and several seers from the Yadava community were also there to show that there is no room for discrimination,” Narayanaswamy added.

Narayanaswamy distributed LPG cylinders to 19 families in the village and also said that development works to construct roads, storm water drains and proper sewage lines will be taken up at the earliest. “I have already sanctioned funds for constructing roads and drains. We are also setting up an RO plant so the people can get drinking water. We have to finalise on where the new anganwadi will come up. I have also sanctioned funds to provide interest-free loans to the people living in the village so they can invest in cattle and their agricultural lands,” Narayanaswamy said.



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