The Sociable Practice Of Untouchability Sociology Essay

Untouchability is the public practice of casting out a minority group by regarding them as "ritually polluted" and segregating them from the mainstream. The excluded group could be one that did not admit the norms of the excluding group and historically included foreigners, nomadic tribes, law-breakers and criminals. This exclusion was a way of punishing law-breakers and also safeguarded against contagion from strangers. A member of the excluded group is known as an untouchable. The folks who are said untouchable are from that portion of society which is not only held in the cheapest esteem, but which is behaved by the other castes as unclean. Who are located to be the sweepers, cleaner, and leather tanners are considered as unfit for individuals culture or co-mingling. They are not permitted to have their drinking water from the general public wells.

The phrase caste was loosely used by the Portuguese to denote the Indian sociable classification as they thought that the system was intended to preserver purity of bloodstream. The system is such a peculiar and complicated thing that no acceptable definition is possible. Hence we find no unanimity among scholars about them. Senart state governments that 'a caste is a detailed organization, exclusive and in theory at the very least rigorously hereditary. It is equipped with ascertain traditional and impartial group, including a key and a council, achieving on occasion in assemblies endowed with less full authority.

According to sir H. Risley, 'a caste may be thought as a assortment of families or groups of families bearing a common name, claiming common descent from a mythical ancestor, real human or divine, professing to follow the same hereditary getting in touch with, and considered by those who are competent to provide opinion as creating a single homogeneous community. the name generally denotes or is associated with a particular profession. A caste is nearly invariably endogamous in the sense a member of the large circle denoted by the common name may not marry outside that circle, but within the group there are usually a range of smaller circles each which is also endogamous. ' The 'untouchables' have been known as Schedule Castes and Agenda Tribes. Local brands for the 'untouchables' are in various elements of India and known by different titles: Bhangi, Pakhi, Chandal, etc. Mahatma Gandhi called them Harijans, which means children of God. It really is still in wide use especially in Gandhi's home point out of Gujarat. Harijans are actually Dalits, this means cracked people.

Historical background:

Hindu culture was made of four castes matching to work of people. There are the brahmins, the highest or scholarly people, kshatriya, the caste of the historical kings or warriors; the vaisya, the farmers and professionals; and the sudras, laborers. People, who come under the sudras caste, are cared for with disdain, but not as outcasts. Today, the caste system is become more complicated and having many subdivisions, each forming a social group whose function is to safeguard caste associates. In Manu Smriti there is written that the first part of a Brahmin's name should denote something auspicious, a Kshatriya's name should be connected with electricity, and that a Vaishya's name should reminds wealth. The first part of your Sudra's name should exhibit something contemptible and the next part should describe the service, due to Sudra's low origins. Corresponding to Hindu practice, only the upper castes are given right to study the Vedas. 'If the Sudra intentionally listens for committing to storage the Veda, then his ears should be filled up with molten business lead and lac; if he utters the Veda, then his tongue should be cut off, if he has learned the Veda his body should be lower to portions' says the Manu Smriti. Within the epic Ramayana, after Lord Rama's come back from exile, a Brahmin accuses him of triggering the fatality of his child by his toleration of Shambuka, a Sudra who recited the Vedas. To be able to control the situation, Rama discovers Shambuka and killed him. The Brahmin son got life again. In Manu Smriti different punishments receive for the same 'criminal offenses', depending on culprit's caste. If this much punishments were for the Sudras, that which was the procedure reserved for the 'untouchables' who were outside the caste system, and placed even less than the Sudras in contemporary society. Within the 1500s, through the guideline of the Marathas and the Peshwas 'untouchables' weren't allowed within the gates of the Poona between 3. 00 pm and 9. 00 am. The reason why was that during this time period their systems were casting long shadows, with the reason that the shadow of any 'untouchable' might show up on the Brahmin and pollute him. An 'untouchable' used to carry an earthen pot around his throat so his spittle might not pollute the planet earth by the shadow. In Maharashtra an 'untouchable' wore a black thread either in his throat or on his wrist for ready id of top caste people, while in Gujarat a horn had been worn for recognition. It must be appreciated that Dalit will not signify Caste or low-Caste or poor; it identifies the deplorable express or condition to which a big group of folks has been reduced by sociable convention and in which they are now living.

Protection under constitution:

India's federal government and legal system when coping with dalits or 'untouchables' is fraught with contradiction. That is evident in the disparities between top and lower castes, in conditions of monetary and political electricity, and is a rsulting consequence the States differential treatment of the areas. The Indian Constitution - the writing which was chaired by the most powerful dalit advocate for dalit rights, Dr. Ambedkar embodies civil and legal rights providing for non-discrimination. However, secular legal and constitutional structures are contradictory to the prevalent ancient Hindu laws: religious, sociable and economic tactics that require a discriminative hierarchy predicated on hereditary social position, job and ritual obligations. Stratification of culture benefits the top classes as it secures positions of economic and social electricity, and allows the exploitation of the lower castes; Hindu beliefs and laws sanction this. Hence, it is not in their interest to eliminate discrimination by the implementation of the constitutional guidelines and regulations in mementos of the dalits. The Indian express hasn't, as of yet, taken a serious method of the betterment of the dalit situation since it is actually aligned with the top castes. The provision of reservations for administration seats, career and higher education has advanced the living standard of some dalits, yet most remain in poverty. Reservations provide positive discrimination; ironically this also stereotypes dalits, resulting in their continual segregation in culture. The state has not successfully provided credited access to education, equitable employment, ownership of land and legal protection to break the cycle of caste structured oppression. Dalit political parties and motions for the assertion of privileges and self perseverance have been numerous and assorted, but have been efficiently quelled by their state and higher castes through the use of political power, violence, and police intimidation, all contrary to the constitution.

Hindus maintain the caste system because their religious beliefs requires them to do so, and caste is a attribute of Brahmanism, the Brahmans being at the most notable of the machine. 1 Dalits, as they will be referred to here, are a sub caste of individuals in the bottom of the Hindu interpersonal and religious hierarchy called Varna Dharma; anticipated to polluting nature of these occupations which include

handling dead animals, cleaning, and jobs regarding human excrement. They are simply forced to behave in de-humanizing ways such the eating of excrement. The relationship of the castes and

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

jatis, or endogamous sub divisions relating to occupation, is recognized as the jajmani system. Hindus have relied on this system to divide labour, communal and commensally relationships and ensure financial and sociable co-operation. 2 On every level the dalits have been discriminated against, and subordinated into servitude. 3 Ambedkar in his control role in the Indian constituent set up sought to remove the oppressive caste system by bringing up dalit awareness and empowerment through procedures in the constitution. Article 15 and 17 prohibits the practice of untouchability and discrimination based on caste. 4 In hindsight, these basic aims seem too lofty to be realized, given that dalits still stay disenfranchised with regards to the implementation of the articles. Forty years later, writing in 1994, Dr. B. D Sharma details the Indian micro-universe as separated into the 'first world, ' where people exercise their protection under the law and have access to courts and law enforcement officials for coverage under regulations and 'the other world' where people do not. 5 The first world comprises of only 15-20% of the population and the other world makes up nearly all 'disinherited' and exploited people. 6 In addition, The Civil Privileges Protection Function, 1955, intended to abolish disabilities associated with backward classes including dalits. While creating an atmosphere where in fact the inequalities experienced by the dalits have been publicly condemned, the constitutional measures have been rendered ineffective because they are mostly ignored in practice. 7 Dalits constitute 77% of agricultural labour which is categorised as unskilled and unorganised. In the urban setting, they can be labourers in building, scavengers and sanitation personnel, also falling into the unorganized category. Pay in the organized sector are controlled by the State in order that they rise with increased prices, and are satisfactory enough for one wage earner to maintain a family group. Labourers carry the brunt of the disparity between sorted out and unorganized portions. Violations of least wage, set suprisingly low in the first place, and repayment in kind are common, and go unchecked. 8 Consequently, one income cannot support a family and children and older people are required to work, children don't go to university and are caught by poverty. 9 The State allows illegitimate labour techniques because exploitation results in monetary benefits for landowners and employers who are generally upper caste, if it will interfere, more

2 Sumit Ganguly & Neil DeVotta eds, Understanding Modern India, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, London, 2003, p. 233 -234

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

4 Sumit Ganguly & Neil DeVotta eds, Understanding Modern India, p. 243

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

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

8 Prem. K. Shinde ed, Dalits and People Rights, quantity 1, (Dalits and Racial Justice) Isha Books, Delhi, p. 84

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

dalits might be able to enter into the organised sector, and so this exploitable labour source of information would be drained. Although this considerable failure of involvement in the organised economy could be corrected by affirmative action plans, these are also insufficient.

Article 330 and 332 of the constitution demand affirmative action in the form of special reservations in government representation, government job and advanced schooling,

intended to raise the dalit position in contemporary society. Reserved seats are allocated in the Lok Sabha, and the legislative assemblies of the expresses, effectively offering dalits representation.

The scheduled castes and slated tribes (The Prevention of Atrocities) Take action 1989 was made to better punish offences such as injury or harassment fond of dalits. Furthermore, Article 14 of the constitution says that no resident be refused equality prior to the law. Ghandi thought that the superior/poor relationships between dalits and higher castes cannot be remedied by the state, but needed to be addressed by the upper castes themselves who had been responsible for the machine. 10

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

Untoucability, A interpersonal Evil:

Untouchability is basically not from India. It had been practiced in elements of Europe until a few generations earlier, and Japan still has a huge volume of "Untouchables", called the 'Burakumin'. Nonetheless it is in the Indian Sub-continent that this system survives, closely bound with culture, religion, record and politics. Today over 170 million people in India are believed Untouchable, and their development has been slow despite the Legal safeguards and the Government programs. Based on the 'Manu Smriti' there are four castes in Hindu world and each caste has assigned duties, responsibilities and privileges. The Brahmins will be the learned, the Kshatriyas are the warriors, the Vaishyas will be the investors, and the Sudras perform menial duties and physical labour, and are believed as the cheapest. In support of uppers castes have right to study the Vedas. The top castes alone possess the to the thread wedding ceremony which is performed as a rite of passing, allowing them to be termed twice-born.

What is a Dharma?

A study reveals that "he who has the knowledge of Brahmagnan is named the Brahmana", and not by caste or not by the beginning. Each one of us is an untouchable, because who among us is clear of disobedience to Nature's laws and regulations, from impurity of heart and soul and brain, from concerns of one thousand sorts, from selfishness and greed. Let us remove the untouchability in us. Anyone is not perfect, but through right dharma, through the elimination of our distinctions and by building up our virtues, we move towards excellence. Why don't we develop the virtue of efficiency and skill to be Shudras; the virtue of charity and become Vaishyas; the courage and become Kshatriyas; the sacrifice and be Brahman, and make ourselves in the duplicate of the Great Purusha, the Radiant.

According to the "Bhagwadgeetha" or "The Bible" or any other, written, or said, is the same, that humans are identical. MID-AIR we breathe, water we drink, the Fire, the Sky, the planet earth are same. Nowadays Indian students and citizens are being attacked in some countries, and we are discussing and discussing the "RACISM" and craving for justice. We have to condemn these at any cost, but it would be good if we stop those things in here.

What is Untouchability?

Untouchability in India is a practice in which a particular community considers even touching another community person as polluting one. Someone who details the untouchables is usually designed to undergo purifying process, like bathing, or spraying of water, depending on local practice.

Who routines untouchability?

There can be an intense propaganda that untouchability is utilized by higher caste people over lower caste people. But that is no right. Untouchability is employed by almost all castes, right from brahmin caste to the dalit caste. Even the dalit castes practice untouchability over others. One dalit caste won't even drink water from another dalit caste.

Does Untouchability mean segregation?

Segregation in american sense, means, classification and isolating a certain groups of people, for different reasons. Segregation is mainly associated with power based society like the american one. Normally, the bad guys, rebels, and other anti-social elements only are segregated from the mainstream population, and deported to remote lands or devote jail. This is exactly what happened in the american societies.

In standard, segregation means, parting of different groups of people from one another, and no relationship is present among these categories. For instance, in European countries, the protestants and the catholics are segregated, and there is absolutely no healthy marriage b/w them, aside from that both worship jesus. In the same way, shias and sunnis are segregated people, without any interdependence. But, untouchability does not indicate segregating. Because, untouchability was mutually utilized by all groups. In caste system, even though people used untouchability, the different castes are interdependent using one another, thus always having some type of interaction and relationship.

Does Untouchability mean isolation?

Definitely not, there could be segregation of properties of castes in a few villages. But there exists never isolation in any villages. Almost all castes interact with each other, because, all castes depend on one another for some needs. The level of interaction differs from caste to caste. For instance, the dalits will firmly not mingle with other dalit caste, eg. Sakkiliars will never drink water from parayars. But, they'll get food and water from the dominant caste of that region. Likewise, the dominant castes like chettiyars, devars, nayakkars, etc may have relationships on similar footing. But still, they do not mingle with one another.

There are few neighborhoods, who have to closely interact with one another. Especially in kongu region, the naavithars, vannan community, kosavar community, etc have close relationship with the dominating gounder community. The naavithars (barbers) usually perform almost all of the rituals, right from birth to death in the gounder's family. It is they who used to sing mangazha vaazhthu during gounder's matrimony.

Why will a caste practice untouchability?

There is not any definite answer to this, as the reason why can vary greatly from location to place. But based on my understanding, untouchability is tactics because of extreme social contradictions. I want to list out the possible known reasons for untouchability, as i perceive.

Life style: We all know India is a land of cultural diversity, which the life design of one community essentially differs from others. For eg, a brahmin community employs strict health, and are strict vegetarians. On the other hand, the farmers and plantation laborer castes usually work in areas; do not have hygienic life practices. The dalit community works on cow skins, which is a sin to brahmin community. So it's natural that the brahmins could not mingle with other castes.

Commune Living: A lot of the castes live a strong commune life, with a profession. So, the life styles of all the community customers are aligned towards that lifestyle. And there are strong inter dependencies among the city member. In such commune living, people used to live on as large households, with common interest. In such instances, when a relation or community, elopes with the other community female or boy, it creates a distress in the top family. The incoming girl/boy may not adapt to the family life style, and might not adapt to the community profession. For example, a brahmin young lady will never be in a position to work in areas if she marries a farmer. Or even a farming girl may not be able to work in leather products if she marries a dalit. So, the contemporary society has evolved itself to a inbuilt arrangement, not to mingle with one another.

Prisoners of warfare: On days past (before Muslim invasion), whenever a ruler was defeated in a war, he catches the prisoners of warfare, and deports to his kingdom to are laborers or current empire may be ruled by the enemy for couple of years, and recaptured by the original king. In such circumstance, the people resolved there by the former temporary ruler, may lose their position, and be laborers. In such instances, the victorious king might take steps to curb the settled exterior people, in order that they don't again try to overthrow him.

Religious Variations: I need not speak about about Hindu Muslim variations. That is entirely some other subject. However, there a wide range of sub sects within Hinduism, which experienced opposed each other. Particularly the effect of Buddhism got profound effect on suppressing those people who work on leather products, as Buddhist believed in ahimsa. The vegetarian figure of India is thought to have purchased during Buddhist rule. Also, since anyone who kept the caste is usually discontinued by the city, those who possessed changed into Buddhism may have been overlooked after Buddhism waned way. Today, for most of the dalit people, their kula deivam is Vishnu.

Cultural Dissimilarities: Apart from life-style, the cultural values of the castes also an important reason behind untouchability. For example, the ruling castes had stricter cultural ideals, that they have followed for decades. For instance, widow remarriage is not allowed in dominating castes. But it's normal in dalit castes. The widow in dominant caste often practices sati, whereas it is not required in the dalit castes.

Lineages: The normal culture and career resulted in a typical lineage over ages, which advanced the respective castes in to distinctive identities, which had made them never to mingle with others.

Exceptions from Untouchability:

The saints and rishis are mostly exempted from untouchability. This means, almost all areas welcomed rishis and saints, and the saints also embraced all areas. Also, the saints are positioned outside the caste system, as they have got lifted one level above in their life, for the god. Most of the kings never employed untouchability, plus they were typically secular. Additionally, they didn't have the situation or enough time to achieve that. Good and Bad in this world are highly comparative term rather than universally defined one. In the society of barbarians, murderers and rapists, a thief may be the best person among others. However, in a culture of saints and nobles, the same thief is the most detrimental person. Thus whenever we are judging anything as good/bad, we have to consider the surroundings and prevailing situation.

There was heavy propaganda of dalit oppression and suppression by the Marxists, for around a hundred years here. But even presuming their propaganda to be true, let's observe how the dalit people were cured here. The dalits resided in a separate colony in the same community. The dalits are not slaves. They were mere laborers to the land owners. They have got the right to proceed to other village, if they feel, the existing town is discriminatory or not able to live in. An average dalit community is permitted to have their own commune life, due to the fact, untouchability prevented the dominating caste from abusing or exploiting them. The dalits acquired their own temple, their own festivals.

The dalits experienced similar kind of caste structure, with gothrams and kula deivams. A dalit hitched from some other gothram of his caste from another village. These guaranteed that the dalit people also experienced relations among multiple villages and also have their own communal structure to check out with. Because the dalit individuals were allowed to live as a community, their women got the inherent coverage from exploitation. Regarding North american slave system each African women can be an individual slave, which the owner can do whatever he want. Other slaves cannot come to save if the owner rapes the slave women. However, inside our caste system, the women were area of the dalit community, and they cannot be exploited. Also, since the dominant caste employed untouchability in the dalits, their youths refrained from mingling with dalit ladies; as such an function would excommunication from his caste. It is same for the dalit people too.

The dalit people had their own panchayat for concern resolution. This is the highest point of independence that any community might have. The elders in the dalit caste usually make an effort to solve the challenge. If that fails, they take the truth to the village panchayat mind.

To quote a recently available background of India, the entire Kashmir valley had been ethnically cleansed of Hindus, just because the Muslims could not tolerate the existence of Hindus. So when they truly became majority they persecuted the Hindus. However, it should be mentioned that the Hindus, even though invaded by Muslims could actually tolerate them for thousands of years, by simply practicing untouchability. You can find many other cases in the history where I discover that untouchability would have avoided genocides, persecution and other horrors of the history. Comparing those situations with our caste system, we find that untouchability is a useful system developed as a solution to peaceful existence of conflicting communities.

We all know that the urban people are labeled as higher class, middle class and lower school. But it goes without saying that these course peoples mostly lived isolated from others. For example, the higher course people are in posh areas, with nice roads, electricity normal water service and spacious homes, open public parks etc. The center class usually lives in comfortable homes, however in congested areas. The low category people often were the slum dwellers who reside in unhygienic and horrific conditions.

Let me ask the next questions:

How many upper course people live along with slum dwellers? Assume a slum dweller roams in front of a posh bungalow, what will the security of the bungalow will do? We often realize that the wealthy people drive away the slum people through their securities. How many of the bigger school people allow their children that can be played with middle class people? Just how many of the middle school people allow their children that can be played with the slum young boys & young girls?

In villages, even though castes follow untouchability, each caste knows the members of the other caste. If the dalit caste experienced any needs, they always address the dominating caste. The dominant caste provides food to the dalit people, when they come to the house. The dalit women often share their issues with the dominating caste women and seek solution. Thus there's a mutually encouraging life in villages, inspire of untouchability. Let me ask, how many people in wealthy posh areas, know the people of the near by slum. Or how many wealthy people help the slum people in needy times? Let's take the case of gang wars in universities. Students owned by one group won't connect to the other. It is the norm in many colleges. It's natural because, when there are differences, people chose to live away.

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