Stuck in the middle of a pandemic when saving lives has become the single biggest priority, you'd expect people to forget about things like caste and race. However, news coming in from various parts of the country shows we still have a long way to go in that department.

Two different cases have emerged where a person of upper caste has refused to eat food served by a Dalit.

One report comes from Nainital where a 23-year-old person said he won't eat food made by a Dalit woman.

On being investigated further, he came up with an excuse which can only be termed absurd. He said that he didn't say no to the food because of the woman's caste but because eating it might result in him being possessed by a deity as it has not been cooked at his home.

And the second such incident happened in UP's Kushinagar where a Dalit woman - the head of the village - was nice enough to offer help by preparing meals for the quarantined people in absence of the cook. 

However, one of them said no because of her caste. An FIR was lodged against him later.

food refused as cooked by dalit woman

This puts into perspective the mentality of people and how deep rooted the caste divide is. Even during a time when there is uncertainty about everything, including life itself, there are many who choose to discriminate instead of having gratitude that someone is trying to help them.

The virus will disappear, sooner or later, but unfortunately there is no medicine for this disease.