Bengaluru: When it rained in north Karnataka and those voluminous waves engulfed everything, the waves certainly paid no heed to caste or anything of that sort. But ironically, when it comes to rehabilitation of victims, the ugly malaise of caste system is back to haunt one and all.

Varuna is a constituency near Mysuru, Karnataka, of which, Yateendra is the Congress MLA. Incidentally, he also happens to be son of former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who has, rather portrays himself to be a champion of the backward classes.

This incident which we are talking also took place at a village (Bokkalli) in this very constituency of Varuna.

At a rehabilitation centre there, people of two communities – Nayaks and Dalits – were made to sit in separate rows in order to have their food.

Water had rushed into several houses in this village. As a result, people here had to spend days on the streets. And when they were asked to spend time in rehabilitation centres, arrangements for food were also made. But a local news channel reported that there was discrimination based on castes.

Villagers too said that caste fault lines do exist in the village. One of them said, “Even at the time of such tragedies, casteism is being followed. Do tragedies occur keeping in mind castes?”

However, panchayat development officer Nalina said, “We have not segregated people on caste lines. It is wrong.”

Mahesh, another official said, “Nothing of that sort has happened. It’s a wrong piece of news. Being a government official, I can’t do anything like that.”

The reactions of all these people were telecast by the local channel.

If the issue is true, it speaks volumes about the limits we have set for ourselves. At the time of celebrating independence from the British, it’s also imperative we get independence from social evils.