The Social Practice Of Untouchability Sociology Essay

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Untouchability is the societal pattern of projecting out a minority group by sing them as “ ceremonially polluted ” and segregating them from the mainstream. The excluded group could be one that did non accept the norms of the excepting group and historically included aliens, mobile folks, law-breakers and felons. This exclusion was a method of penalizing law-breakers and besides protected against contagious disease from aliens. A member of the excluded group is known as an untouchable. The people who are said untouchable are from that subdivision of society which is non merely held in the lowest regard, but which is behaved by the other castes as dirty. Who are found to be the sweepers, cleansing agent, and leather sixpences are considered as unfit for human society or co-mingling. They are non permitted to take their H2O from the public Wellss.

The word caste was slackly used by the Portuguese to denote the Indian societal categorization as they thought that the system was intended to preserver pureness of blood. The system is such a curious and complex thing that no satisfactory definition is possible. Hence we find no unanimity among bookmans on the topic. Senart states that ‘a caste is a close corporation, sole and in theory at any rate strictly familial. It is equipped with ascertain traditional and independent organisation, including a head and a council, run intoing on juncture in assemblies endowed with less full authorization.

Harmonizing to sir H. Risley, ‘a caste may be defined as a aggregation of households or groups of households bearing a common name, claiming common descent from a fabulous ascendant, human or Godhead, professing to follow the same familial naming, and regarded by those who are competent to give sentiment as organizing a individual homogenous community.the name by and large denotes or is associated with a specific business. A caste is about constantly endogamic in the sense that a member of the big circle denoted by the common name may non get married outside that circle, but within the circle there are normally a figure of smaller circles each which is besides endogamic. ‘ The ‘untouchables ‘ have been referred to as Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. Local names for the ‘untouchables ‘ are in different parts of India and known by different names: Bhangi, Pakhi, Chandal, etc. Mahatma Gandhi called them Harijans, which means kids of God. It is still in broad usage particularly in Gandhi ‘s place province of Gujarat. Harijans are now Dalits, which means broken people.

Historical background:

Hindi civilization was made of four castes harmonizing to work of people. There are the brahmans, the highest or scholarly people, Kshatriya, the caste of the ancient male monarchs or warriors ; the Vaisya, the husbandmans and bargainers ; and the Shudras, labourers. The people, who come under the sudras caste, are treated with contempt, but non as castawaies. Today, the caste system is become more complicated and holding many subdivisions, each organizing a societal organisation whose map is to protect caste members. In Manu Smriti there is written that the first portion of a Brahmin ‘s name should denote something auspicious, a Kshatriya ‘s name should be connected with power, and that a Vaishya ‘s name should reminds wealth. The first portion of a Sudra ‘s name should show something contemptible and the 2nd portion should depict the service, because of the Sudra ‘s low beginning. Harmonizing to Hindu pattern, merely the upper castes are given right to analyze the Vedas. ‘If the Sudra deliberately listens for perpetrating to memory the Veda, so his ears should be filled with liquefied lead and lac ; if he utters the Veda, so his lingua should be cut off, if he has mastered the Veda his organic structure should be cut to pieces ‘ says the Manu Smriti. In the heroic poem Ramayana, after Lord Rama ‘s return from expatriate, a Brahmin accuses him of doing the decease of his boy by his acceptance of Shambuka, a Sudra who recited the Vedas. In order to command the state of affairs, Rama finds Shambuka and killed him. The Brahmin male child got life once more. In Manu Smriti different penalties are given for the same ‘crime ‘ , depending on the perpetrator ‘s caste. If this much penalties were for the Sudras, what was the intervention reserved for the ‘untouchables ‘ who were outside the caste system, and placed even lower than the Sudras in society. In the 1500s, during the regulation of the Marathas and the Peshwas ‘untouchables ‘ were non allowed within the Gatess of the Poona between 3.00 autopsies and 9.00 am. The ground was that during this clip their organic structures were projecting long shadows, with the ground that the shadow of an ‘untouchable ‘ might fall on a Brahmin and foul him. An ‘untouchable ‘ used to transport an earthen pot around his cervix so his saliva might non foul the Earth by the shadow. In Maharashtra an ‘untouchable ‘ wore a black yarn either in his cervix or on his carpus for ready designation of upper caste people, while in Gujarat a horn was being worn for designation. It must be remembered that Dalit does non intend Caste or low-CasteA or hapless ; it refers to the distressing province or status to which a big group of people has been reduced by societal convention and in which they are now populating.

Protection under fundamental law:

India ‘s authorities and legal system when covering with dalits or ‘untouchables ‘ is fraught with contradiction. This is apparent in the disparities between upper and lower castes, in footings of economic and political power, and is a effect of the States differential intervention of these subdivisions. The Indian Constitution – the authorship of which was chaired by the most powerful dalit advocator for dalit rights, Dr. Ambedkar embodies civil and legal rights supplying for non-discrimination. However, secular legal and constitutional constructions are contradictory to the prevailing antediluvian Hindu jurisprudence: spiritual, societal and economic patterns that involve a discriminatory hierarchy based on familial societal position, business and ritual responsibilities. Stratification of society benefits the upper categories as it secures places of economic and societal power, and allows the development of the lower castes ; Hindu beliefs and jurisprudence countenance this. It is hence non in their involvement to take favoritism by the execution of the constitutional rules and Torahs in favours of the dalits. The Indian province has n’t, to day of the month, taken a serious attack to the improvement of the dalit state of affairs because it is basically aligned with the upper castes. The proviso of reserves for authorities seats, employment and higher instruction has improved the populating criterion of some dalits, yet most remain in poorness. Reservations provide positive favoritism ; ironically this besides stereotypes dalits, ensuing in their continual segregation in society. The province has non successfully provided due entree to instruction, just employment, ownership of land and legal protection to interrupt the rhythm of caste based subjugation. Dalit political parties and motions for the averment of rights and self finding have been legion and varied, but have been successfully quelled by the province and upper castes through the usage of political power, force, and constabularies bullying, all contrary to the fundamental law.

Hindus maintain the caste system because their faith requires them to make so, and caste is a characteristic of Brahmanism, the Brahmans being at the top of the system.1 Dalits, as they will be referred to here, are a sub caste of people at the underside of the Hindu societal and spiritual hierarchy called Varna Dharma ; due to fouling nature of their businesss which include

managing dead animate beings, cleansing, and occupations to make with human body waste. They are forced to act in de-humanizing ways such the feeding of body waste. The interaction of the castes and

1 L.G. Havanur, Backward Classes, Judicial Meaning, Socio-legal Services and Research Centre, Bangalore, 1991, p.55

jatis, or endogamic bomber divisions associating to business, is known as the jajmani system. Hindus have relied on this system to split labor, societal and commensally dealingss and guarantee economic and societal co-operation.2 On every degree the dalits have been discriminated against, and subordinated into servitude.3 Ambedkar in his leading function in the Indian component assembly sought to wipe out the oppressive caste system by raising dalit consciousness and authorization through commissariats in the fundamental law. Article 15 and 17 prohibits the pattern of untouchability and favoritism based on caste.4 In hindsight, these basic purposes seem excessively exalted to be realized, given that dalits still remain disfranchised in relation to the execution of these articles. Forty old ages subsequently, composing in 1994, Dr. B.D Sharma describes the Indian micro-universe as separated into the ‘first universe, ‘ where people exercise their rights and have entree to tribunals and constabularies for protection under the jurisprudence and ‘the other universe ‘ where people do not.5 The first universe comprises of merely 15-20 % of the population and the other universe makes up the bulk of ‘disinherited ‘ and exploited people.6 In add-on, The Civil Rights Protection Act, 1955, intended to get rid of disablements associated with backward categories including dalits. While making an ambiance where the inequalities suffered by the dalits have been publically condemned, the constitutional steps have been rendered uneffective as they are largely ignored in practice.7 Dalits make up 77 % of agricultural labor which is classified as unskilled and unorganized. In the urban scene, they are laborers in building, scavengers and sanitation workers, besides falling into the unorganised class. Wagess in the organized sector are regulated by the State so that they rise with increased monetary values, and are equal plenty for one pay earner to prolong a household. Laborers bear the brunt of the disparity between organized and unorganised subdivisions. Misdemeanors of minimal pay, set really low in the first topographic point, and payment in sort are common, and travel unchecked.8 Consequently, one pay can non back up a household and kids and the aged are forced to work, kids do n’t travel to school and are trapped by poverty.9 The State allows illegal labors patterns because development consequences in economic benefits for landholders and employers who are largely upper caste, if it should interfere, more

2 Sumit Ganguly & A ; Neil DeVotta explosive detection systems, Understanding Contemporary India, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, London, 2003, p.233 -234

3 Robert.W.Stern, Changing India, 2nd edit, Cambridge university imperativeness, Cambridge, 2003. p.60-61

4 Sumit Ganguly & A ; Neil DeVotta explosive detection systems, Understanding Contemporary India, p.243

5 Dr. B.D. Sharma, Dalits Betrayed, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi, 1994, p.13

6 Ibid. 7Robert.W.Stern, Changing India, 2nd edit, p. 242

8 Prem.K.Shinde erectile dysfunction, Dalits and Human Rights, volume 1, ( Dalits and Racial Justice ) Isha Books, Delhi, p.84

9 Dr. B.D. Sharma, Dalits Betrayed, p.47

dalits may be able to come in the organized sector, and therefore this exploitable labor resource would be drained. Although this monolithic failure of engagement in the organized economic system could be corrected by affirmatory action policies, these have besides been deficient.

Article 330 and 332 of the fundamental law call for affirmatory action in the signifier of particular reserves in authorities representation, authorities employment and higher instruction,

intended to raise the dalit place in society. Reserved seats are allocated in the Lok Sabha, and the legislative assemblies of the provinces, efficaciously giving dalits representation.

The scheduled castes and scheduled folks ( The Prevention of Atrocities ) Act 1989 was designed to better penalize offenses such as hurt or torment directed at dalits. In add-on, Article 14 of the fundamental law states that no citizen be denied equality before the jurisprudence. Ghandi believed that the superior/inferior dealingss between dalits and upper castes could non be remedied by the province, but needed to be addressed by the upper castes themselves who were responsible for the system.10

10 Lelah Dushkin, Scheduled Caste Policy in India, p.632

Untoucability, A societal Evil:

Untouchability is fundamentally non from India. It was practiced in parts of Europe until a few centuries ago, and Japan still has a big figure of “ Untouchables ” , called the ‘Burakumin ‘ . But it is in the Indian Sub-continent that this system survives, closely bound with civilization, faith, history and political relations. Today over 170 million people in India are considered Untouchable, and their development has been slow despite the Legal precautions and the Government plans. Harmonizing to the ‘Manu Smriti ‘ there are four castes in Hindu society and each caste has assigned responsibilities, duties and privileges. The Brahmans are the erudite, the Kshatriyas are the warriors, the Vaishyas are the bargainers, and the Sudras perform humble undertakings and physical labor, and are considered as the lowest. And lone uppers castes have the right to analyze the Vedas. The upper castes entirely have the right to the yarn ceremonial which is performed as a rite of transition, leting them to be termed twice-born.

What is a Dharma?

A survey reveals that “ he who has the cognition of Brahmagnan is called the Brahmana ” , and non by caste or non by the birth. Each one of us is an untouchable, because who among us is free from noncompliance to Nature ‘s Torahs, from dross of bosom and head, from frights of a 1000 sorts, from selfishness and greed. Let us take the untouchability in us. Anyone is non perfect, but through right Dharma, by extinguishing our differences and by beef uping our virtuousnesss, we move towards flawlessness. Let us develop the virtuousness of efficiency and accomplishment to go Shudras ; the virtuousness of charity and go Vaishyas ; the bravery and go Kshatriyas ; the forfeit and go Brahman, and do ourselves in the transcript of the Great Purusha, the Radiant.

Harmonizing to the “ Bhagwadgeetha ” or “ The Bible ” or any other, written, or said, is the same, that all worlds are equal. The Air we breathe, the Water we drink, the Fire, the Sky, the Earth are same. These yearss Indian pupils and citizens are being attacked in some states, and we are discoursing and speaking about the “ RACISM ” and hungering for justness. We should reprobate these at any cost, but it would be just if we stop those things in here.

What is Untouchability?

Untouchability in India is a pattern where a peculiar community considers even touching another community individual as fouling one.A A individual who touches the Harijans is normally made to undergo cleansing procedure, like bathing, or crop-dusting of H2O, depending on the regional pattern.

Who patterns untouchability?

There is an intense propaganda that untouchability is practiced by higher caste people over lower caste people.A But that is no right.A Untouchability is practiced by about all castes, right from brahmin caste to the dalit caste. Even the dalit castes pattern untouchability over others.A One dalit caste will non even drink H2O from another dalit caste.

Does Untouchability intend segregation?

Segregation in western sense, means, categorization and insulating a certain groups of people, for varied reasons.A Segregation is largely associated with authorization based society like the western one.A Normally, the felons, Rebels, and other anti-social elements merely are segregated from the mainstream society, and deported to far off lands or put in jail.A This is what happened in the western societies.

In general, segregationA agencies, separation of different groups of people from one another, and no relationship exists among these groups.A For illustration, in Europe, the Protestants and the Catholics are segregated, and there is no healthy relationship b/w them, except for that both worship jesus.A Similarly, Shiah and Sunnite are segregated people, without any mutuality. But, untouchability does non intend segregating. Because, untouchability was reciprocally practiced by all groups.A In caste system, even though people adept untouchability, the different castes are mutualist on one another, therefore ever holding some sort of interaction and relationship.

Does Untouchability intend isolation?

Decidedly non, A there may be segregation of houses of castes in some villages.A But there is ne’er isolation in any villages.A Almost all castes interact with each other, because, all castes depend on one another for some demands. The degree of interaction differs from caste to caste.A For illustration, the dalits will purely non mingle with other dalit caste, eg. Sakkiliars will ne’er imbibe H2O from parayars.A But, they will acquire nutrient and H2O from the dominant caste of that region.A Similarly, the dominant castes like chettiyars, devars, nayakkars, etc may hold interactions on equal footing.A But still, they do non mix with one another.

There are few communities, who have to closely interact with one another.A Particularly in kongu part, the naavithars, vannan community, kosavar community, etc have close interaction with the dominant gounder community.A The naavithars ( Barbers ) normally conduct most of the rites, right from birth to decease in the gounder ‘s family.A It is they who used to sing mangazha vaazhthu during gounder ‘s matrimony.

Why does a caste pattern untouchability?

There is no definite reply to this, as the ground may change from topographic point to place.A But based on my apprehension, untouchability is patterns because of utmost cultural contradictions.A Let me name out the possible grounds for untouchability, as one perceive.

Life manner: We all know India is a land of cultural diverseness, and that the life manner of one community mostly differs from others.A For eg, a brahman community follows rigorous hygiene, and are rigorous vegetarians.A On the other manus, the husbandmans and farm labourer castes normally work in Fieldss ; make non hold hygienic life practices.A The dalit community works on cow teguments, which is a wickedness to brahmin community. So it ‘s natural that the brahmans could non mix with other castes.

Commune Living: Most of the castes live a strong commune life, with a common profession.A So, the life manners of all the community members are aligned towards that lifestyle.A And there are strong inter dependences among the community member.A In such commune life, people used to populate as big households, with common interest.A In such instances, when a member of the household or community, elopes with the other community miss or male child, it creates a confusion in the big family.A The incoming girl/boy may non accommodate to the household life manner, and may non accommodate to the community profession.A For illustration, a brahman miss will non be able to work in Fieldss if she marries a farmer.A Or a agrarian miss may non be able to work in leather merchandises if she marries a dalit.A So, the society has evolved itself to an built-in agreement, non to mix with each other.

Prisoners of war: On those yearss ( before Muslim invasion ) , when a male monarch was defeated in a war, he captures the captives of war, and deports to his land to work as laborersA or current imperium may be ruled by the enemy for few old ages, and recaptured by the original male monarch. In such instance, the people settled at that place by the former impermanent swayer, may lose their position, and go laborers.A In such instances, the winning male monarch may take stairss to stamp down the settled external people, so that they do n’t once more try to subvert him.A

Religious Differences: I need non advert about Hindu Muslim differences.A That is wholly a different subject.A However, there are many sub religious orders within Hinduism, which had opposed each other.A Particularly the influence of Buddhism had profound impact on stamp downing those people who work on leather merchandises, as Buddhist believed in ahimsa.A The vegetarian character of India is believed to hold acquired during Buddhist rule.A A Besides, since anyone who left the caste is normally abandoned by the community, those who had converted to Buddhism might hold been left out after Buddhism waned manner. Today, for many of the dalit people, their kula deivam is Vishnu.

Cultural Differences: Apart from life manner, the cultural values of the castes besides an of import ground for untouchability.A For illustration, the opinion castes had stricter cultural values, which they have followed for generations.A For illustration, widow remarriage is non allowed in dominant castes.A But it ‘s normal in dalit castes.A The widow in dominant caste frequently follows sati, whereas it is non required in the dalit castes.

Lineages: The common civilization and profession resulted in a common line of descent over centuries, which evolved the several castes in to typical individualities, which had made them non to mix with others.

Exceptions from Untouchability:

The saints and rishis are largely exempted from untouchability.A It means, about all communities welcomed rishis and saints, and the saints besides embraced all communities. Besides, the saints are placed outside the caste system, as they have raised one degree above in their life, towards the God. Most of the male monarchs ne’er practiced untouchability, and they were largely secular.A Furthermore, they did non hold the state of affairs or the clip to make that. Good and Bad in this universe are extremely comparative term instead than a universally defined one.A In the society of savages, liquidators and rapers, a stealer could be the best individual among others. However, in a society of saints and Lords, the same stealer would be the worst person.A Therefore when we are judging anything as good/bad, we need to see the environment and predominating state of affairs.

There was heavy propaganda of dalit subjugation and suppression by the Marxists, for around a century here.A But even presuming their propaganda to be true, allow ‘s see how the dalit people were treated here. The dalits lived in a separate settlement in the same small town. The dalits are non slaves.A They were mere labourers to the land owners.A They have the right to travel to other small town, if they feel, the current small town is prejudiced or non able to populate in. A typical dalit community is allowed to hold their ain commune life, merely because, untouchability prevented the dominant caste from mistreating or working them. The dalits had their ain temple, their ain festivals.

The dalits had similar type of caste construction, with gothrams and kula deivams.A A dalit married from a different gothram of his caste from another village.A These ensured that the dalit people besides had dealingss among multiple small towns and have their ain societal construction to follow with. Since the dalit people were allowed to populate as a community, their adult females had the built-in protection from exploitation.A In the instance of American slave system each African adult females is an single slave, which the proprietor can make whatever he want.A Other slaves can non come to deliver if the proprietor rapes the slave women.A However, in our caste system, the adult females were portion of the dalit community, and they could non be exploited.A Besides, since the dominant caste practiced untouchability over the dalits, their young persons refrained from mixing with dalit misss ; as such an act would excommunication from his caste.A It is same for the dalit people excessively.

The dalit people had their ain panchayet for issue resolution.A This is the highest point of freedom that any community might have.A A The seniors in the dalit caste normally try to work out the problem.A If that fails, they take the instance to the small town panchayat caput.

To cite a recent history of India, the full Kashmir vale had been ethnically cleansed of Hindus, merely because the Muslims could non digest the presence of Hindus.A So when they became bulk they persecuted the Hindus. However, it has to be noted that the Hindus, even though invaded by Muslims were able to digest them for 1000s of old ages, by merely practising untouchability. There are many other cases in the history where I find that untouchability would hold prevented race murders, persecution and other horrors of the history. Comparing those incidents with our caste system, we find that untouchability is a practical system evolved as a solution to peaceable being of conflicting communities.

We all know that the urban people are classified as higher category, in-between category and lower class.A But it ‘s a fact that these category peoples largely lived isolated from others. For illustration, the higher category people live in classy countries, with orderly roads, electricity H2O installation and broad places, public Parkss etc.A The in-between category normally lives in comfy places, but in engorged countries. The lower category people frequently were the slum inhabitants who live in unhygienic and hideous conditions.

Let me inquire the undermentioned inquiries:

How many upper category people live along with slum inhabitants? Suppose a slum inhabitant roams in forepart of a posh cottage, what will the security of the cottage will make? A We frequently find that the rich people drive away the slum people through their securities. How many of the higher category people allow their kids to play with in-between category people? How many of the in-between category people allow their kids to play with the slum boys & A ; misss?

In small towns, even though castes follow untouchability, each caste knows the members of the other caste.A When the dalit caste had any demands, they ever approach the dominant caste.A The dominant caste provides nutrient to the dalit people, when they come to the home.A The dalit adult females frequently portion their jobs with the dominant caste adult females and seek solution.A Thus there is a reciprocally back uping life in small towns, inspire of untouchability.A Let me inquire, how many people in rich posh countries, know the people of the nearby slum.A Or how many rich people help the slum people in destitute times? Let ‘s take the instance of pack wars in colleges.A Students belonging to one group wo n’t interact with the other.A It ‘s the norm in many colleges.A It ‘s natural because, when there are differences, people chose to populate off.

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