What is untouchability Earlier, untouchability in India (especially in rural areas of the country) was the deep practice of excluding the lower caste people (tribes, criminals, law-breakers or people suffering from any infectious disease) from the society of higher caste people through the caste system. Lower caste people were strictly protected to get involved in the functions, traditional activities and other cultural programs of the higher caste society and they were punished after breaking the laws. Untouchability in India before Independence Before the Independence of the India untouchability and caste system was at the peak and was the main reason of pulling the country’s growth and development back. Lower caste people were considered as the polluted people by the higher caste people and were strictly prohibited to do some common activities. Some of are mentioned below: Untouchable people were strictly prohibited to eat together with caste members in the society. They were separated by providing separate utensils, seating arrangements, food arrangements in the villages during any social functions and festivals celebration. They were prohibited to enter to the temples, using any comfortable things like umbrella, wearing sandals, entering to the home of higher caste people, bicycle riding in the village, using common village path in front of the higher caste people. They were separated by providing other burial grounds. They were banned to use common public resources like wells, temples, ponds, schools and etc. They were forcefully bounded to do only labour works in the society. They were threatened for permanent social banishment if denied to carry out their regular duties. Untouchability in India after Independence After the independence of the India, untouchability became an illegal issue and treated as the social development inhibitor. However, in rural areas of the country it was continue but it came as a big social problem in the urban areas. It was very necessary to empower the lower caste people means untouchable people in the society in order to get the whole country development. After independence, the Indian government has given some constitutional reservations for backwards in both areas like education and employment. Backwards class people were given access to use the common public resources with same authority. New age caste youths have played a big role in removing the practice of inequality in the society by developing the tradition of inter-caste marriages. Why Anti Un-Touchability Week Celebration Starts at 2nd of October Anti Un-Touchability Week campaign celebration every year on 2nd of October (birthday anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi) has been passed by the legislature parliament as this campaign deeply belongs to the significant roles of Mahatma Gandhi against untouchability. Mahatma Gandhi has played...

Read More

Sati Pratha in India Sati literally means ‘a pure and virtuous woman’. Sati Pratha or tradition of widow burning at the funeral pyre of her husband has been a shameful social evil and an age old practice in Indian society. A widow was burned either with her tacit consent or most of the times forcefully by her in-laws after the death of her husband. This practice shows a dark and evil side of Hindu society, especially of ancient and medieval India. The practice of Sati or self-immolation by the widow was associated with a kind of virtue. The ‘virtue’ of this practice was defined by a religious logic that it was inauspicious for widow to live after the death of her husband. A widow who agreed to self-immolate herself at the funeral pyre of her husband was considered to be very virtuous and attained to the status of Sati Mata or Sati Goddess. We can still find Temples of Sati Mata in some States of India such as in Rajasthan and M P. Origin of Sati Pratha The root of this inhuman practice lies in the patriarchal traditions of Hindu society where women are always considered as subservient and inferior to men. But the mythological story about the origin of Sati Pratha says that Sati was the wife of Shiva and she self-immolated herself in protest against her father who had disrespected Shiva. Though in this story, Sati immolated herself while her husband, Shiva was still alive but in historical reality, the practice took a different form and women were being forced to die by sitting on their husband’s funeral pyre. How this transformation took place is not clear from historical sources but one thing is clear that the evil practice somehow became part of Hindu society. The earliest literature of Hindus such as Vedas does not mention the practice of Sati. It is only in the later Hindu texts such as Puranas, one finds the mention of Sati. Furthermore, the practice was mainly associated with the so-called high castes (Brahmin and Kshatriya) in the early history. According to one version it became fairly wide spread during the Muslim period when invasions and conquests played its role and it was considered necessary to preserve the honor of Hindu women. However, there are evidences to show that the practice of Sati was also there in western and southern India even before the advent of Muslims. Gradually, the practice was adopted by the so-called lower castes in their quest to aspire for higher ranking in social order by emulating the customs and rituals of higher castes. The practice of Sati was...

Read More