In Kolar’s Pethandlahalli village, caste-based segregation and untouchability have gone unchallenged since its constitutional abolition in 1950. Madiga Dalits in this village are not allowed to visit the same temple or drink tea at the same shop as the upper caste Vokkaligas and Reddys even today. But this long-standing segregation was challenged by hundreds of activists from Dalit and communist organisations on Monday, December 12, in the aftermath of the suicide of a Dalit man on November 30. Braving heavy rain, the activists rallied in their two-wheelers from Pethandlahalli village to the Kolar District Commissioner’s office condemning the violence and humiliation that 25-year-old Uday Kiran was subjected to — he was tied to a pole and assaulted for overtaking a bike belonging to Pethandlahalli’s Vokkaliga men.
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