Dalits, also known as “untouchables,” are members of the lowest social group in the Hindu caste system. The word “Dalit” means “oppressed” or “broken” and is the name that members of this group gave themselves in the 1930s.

You may also wonder, who do you call the untouchables?

Untouchable, also called Dalit, officially Scheduled Caste, formerly Harijan, the former name in traditional Indian society for any member of a wide range of low-caste Hindu groups and any person outside the caste system. However, this name is now considered condescending and offensive.

Do you also know, are there still untouchables in India?

Untouchability has been banned in India, Nepal and Pakistan. However, “untouchability” is not legally defined. The origin of untouchability and its historicity are still debated.

With that in mind, who are the untouchables in India?

More than 160 million people in India are considered “untouchables”— People corrupted by birth into a caste system that considers them impure, less than human. Human rights abuses against these people, known as Dalits, are legion.

What jobs did the untouchables have?

Untouchables were hired to do jobs that members of the caste system would not do. These jobs included killing or disposing of dead cattle or working with their skins. The untouchables also worked as sweepers, scrubbers, or in other jobs that required contact with human discharges such as sweat, urine, or feces.

Who gave the word Harijan?


Who originated untouchability in India?

Jyotiba Phule, the founder of the Satya Shodak Samaj, a non-Brahmin movement in Maharashtra, is said to have coined the term “Dalit“. He used the term to refer to the outcasts and untouchables as victims of the caste-based social divisions of Indian society.

What do Brahmins do?

The Brahmins are the caste from which Hindu priests are drawn and who are responsible for the teaching and upkeep of the sacred knowledge. The other major castes, from highest to lowest, are the Kshatriya (warriors and princes), Vaisya (farmers or merchants), and Shudra (servants and tenants).

Which caste is the highest in India?

The most populous caste in India are the OBCs, who make up more than 70% of the total Indian population. The states with the highest number of enlisted castes and enlisted tribes are Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

How many Indian castes are there?

The major castes were further divided into about 3,000 castes and 25,000 sub-castes, each based on their specific profession. Outside of this Hindu caste system were the Achhoots – the Dalits or the Untouchables.

When did the caste system begin in India?

However, historically it is believed that the caste system began with the arrival of the Aryans in India around 1500 BC. (Daniel). Of the many cultures that flourished in India, the literary records of Indo-Aryan culture are not the earliest.

Where did the untouchables come from?

The lowest in this pecking order are the Dalits , who were once called “untouchables” because they were sent to the dirtiest jobs by the Hindu hierarchy. It is a sizable community of around 200 million people. The word Dalit comes from a Hindi word meaning oppressed, oppressed, oppressed.

Who created the caste system?


What is a Article 17?

Abolition of untouchability: Article 17 of the Constitution abolishes the practice of untouchability. The practice of untouchability is a criminal offense and anyone who does so will be punished by law.

What does Shudra mean?

Shudra or Shoodra is one of the four Varnas of Hindu society order in India . Various sources translate it into English as caste or alternatively as social class. It is the lowest rank of the four Varnas.

Are Shudras Dalits?

Shudras rank fourth in status according to the Varna system compared to Brahmins, who are first Place. Dalits are today’s Schedule Castes, the o Shudras are today’s OBCs (other backward classes) that make up 42% of India‘s current population (SECC-2011).

Which caste is the most powerful in Bihar?

RAJPUT is a powerful caste of Bihar as they also win most seats in Bihar Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha. Rajput is a warrior and landowning caste of Bihar.

Does the caste system still exist?

The caste system as it exists today is believed to be the result of developments during the collapse of the Mughal era and the rise of the British colonial regime in India.

Why is Harijan banned?

Harijan. Mahatma Gandhi coined the word Harijan, roughly translated as God’s people, in 1933 to refer to the untouchables. When untouchability was banned after India‘s independence, the use of the word Harijan to describe the former untouchables was more common among other castes than among the Dalits themselves.

What is the lowest caste in India?

What is the lowest caste in India? Untouchable, also called Dalit, officially caste, formerly Harijam, in traditional Indian society, the former name for any member of a wide range of low-caste Hindu groups and any person outside the caste system.

Who is a Dalit in India?

Dalits, also known as “untouchables,” are members of the lowest social group in the Hindu caste system. The word “Dalit” means “oppressed” or “broken” and is the name members of this group gave themselves in the 1930’s.

What is Patel’s caste?

The surname was a status name referring to village chiefs in the Middle Ages and later adopted by various communities of landowners. including the Patidars, Kolis, some Parsis and Muslims. Today, there are currently two main branches of people bearing the surname: Leuva and Kadva.