Saturday, 26 October 2013

Untouchability

Untouchability is a value loaded concept that perceives that some sections suffer from stigma of pollution. It carries moral, humanistic, political and cultural dimensions. It is considered as a violation of human rights of a person and abstains him from fully achieving his/her potential.
Constitution of India abolished untouchability under Article 17 under all forms but even after 65 years of independence, untouchability is still practised in India is different forms. Louie Dumont considers that untouchability is pervasive in case of India because Indian culture is driven by the principle of purity and pollution. Dalits are always indulged in menial jobs and are not allowed to drink water from village wells and cannot enter the villages. Brahminic supremacy has led to social, political and economic exclusion of untouchables.
Dalits are still subject to segregation with little access to temples, water sources and upper caste areas. They are working in degrading occupations like tanning, shoemaking, manual scavenging, sweeping, carrying dead animals etc. More than 90% of Untouchables belongs to Schedule caste and Schedule tribes. India might be rising, sensex might be gaining but these people donot have choice to work.
Segregation and discrimination is blindly followed in schools. Dalit children are made to sit separately in schools. Uncooked food is served to them and they are forced to clean their utensils. They cannot wear shoes in front of upper castes. Sometimes they are also forced to do heavy work and cleaning of schools.
Dalits have also been subjected to police apathy as in case of UP, they are killed and immolated by the higher caste in Haryana, their women are raped and forced to walk naked in front of the whole village.

Therefore untouchability was present in past and it is present in contemporary times due to lack of liberal attitude of upper caste and low enforcement of laws by government.

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