Status of Dalit in India

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The priest is born from the mouth of the Creator, the warrior from the arm, the businessman from the stomach, and the servant from the foot. Their entry into the divine body would be as unthinkable as the entry of an animal. Today, the literary and scholarly efflorescence among dalits is set apart from caste Hindu society as a particularly dalit development.

Inequalities, Caste, and Social Exclusion: Dalit Women’s Citizenship | SpringerLink

Dalit critiques of nation and society barely impinge on upper-caste notions of the social order, of the nation-state, and of modernity in general. The reasons for this are often attributed to the grafting of traditional caste networks onto modern state institutions —for example, the upper-caste seizures of Western education and the higher bureaucracy. The slide of the independent Indian nation-state into a landscape dominated by the brahminical upper castes has meant that new ways have been found to effectively seal the dalit Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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Murali Krishnan reports. Over 1. But building new toilets alone is not enough to improve public health, says ADB analyst Jingmin Huang.

What jobs do the Dalit men, women and children do

Despite laws that aim to create equality, the caste system in India continues to have a strong impact on society. DW explains how it evolved and what the situation in the country is now. A cow-related lynching in the state of Jharkhand was not prosecuted by police and went unnoticed by the public. The incident has become a symbol of the Indian government's inept handling of religious hate crimes The Indian government banned manual scavenging in but the practice is widespread in the country. Bezwada Wilson, this year's recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay award, tells DW there is not enough pressure to end it.

The Indian government is preparing to install a nationwide facial recognition system, but the plan draws criticism from rights activists and tech experts who warn of the risks to privacy and from increased surveillance. The visa-free border crossing has been touted as a landmark peace move between India and Pakistan. Will it help lower tension between Islamabad and New Delhi and have an impact on other outstanding disputes?

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Deutsche Welle. Audiotrainer Deutschtrainer Die Bienenretter. Many social organisations have promoted better conditions for Dalits through education, healthcare and employment. Nonetheless, while caste-based discrimination was prohibited and untouchability abolished by the Constitution of India , such practices are still widespread.

In Classical Sanskrit, this means "divided, split, broken, scattered". This word was repurposed in 19th-century Sanskrit to mean " a person not belonging to one of the four Brahminic castes". Dalit is mostly used to describe communities that have been subjected to untouchability. The term was in use as a translation for the British Raj census classification of Depressed Classes prior to Ambedkar — , himself a Dalit, [12] and in the s its use was invigorated when it was adopted by the Dalit Panthers activist group.

Dalit has become a political identity, similar to how the LGBT Q community reclaimed queer from its pejorative use as a neutral or positive self-identifier and as a political identity. While use of the term might seem to express an appropriate solidarity with the contemporary face of Untouchable politics, there remain major problems in adopting it as a generic term. Although the word is now quite widespread, it still has deep roots in a tradition of political radicalism inspired by the figure of B.

This may be due to their improved circumstances giving rise to a desire not to be associated with the what they perceive to be the demeaning Dalit masses. Scheduled Castes is the official term for Dalits in the opinion of India's National Commissions for Scheduled Castes NCSC , who took legal advice that indicated modern legislation does not refer to Dalit and that therefore, it says, it is "unconstitutional" for official documents to do so.

In , the NCSC noted that some state governments used Dalits rather than Scheduled Castes in documentation and asked them to desist. Some sources say that Dalit encompasses a broader range of communities than the official Scheduled Caste definition. It can include nomadic tribes and another official classification that also originated with the British Raj positive discrimination efforts in , being the Scheduled Tribes. Mahatma Gandhi coined the word Harijan , translated roughly as people of God , to identify untouchables in The name was disliked by Ambedkar as it emphasised the Dalits as belonging to the Greater Hindu Nation rather than being an independent community like Muslims.

In addition, many Dalits saw the term to be patronizing and derogatory. Some have even claimed that the term really refers to children of devadasis , South Indian girls who were married to a temple and served as concubines and prostitutes for upper-caste Hindus, but this claim cannot be verified. When untouchability was outlawed after Indian independence, the use of the word Harijan to describe the ex-untouchables was more common among other castes than the Dalits themselves.

The term was later considered derogatory and patronising; hence the term Harijan is no longer used by people belonging to the castes that were kept back in medieval and modern India. They are now called Dalits , though even this term is banned in some states of India such as Kerala.

Contemporary Voice of Dalit

Though Gandhi popularized the term harijan, which literally meant children of god, some contested that as per certain religious texts , brahmins are said to be children of God. The term may have been suggested to Gandhi based on the term used in the works by the Gujarati Bhakti era poet-saint Narsi Mehta. Gangasati lived around the 12thth centuries and wrote in the Gujarati language. This practice began around , when the Adi- prefix was appropriated by Southern Dalit leaders, who believed that they were the indigenous inhabitants of India.

Dalits and Adivasis in India - Statistics and Facts

In the Indian state of Maharashtra , according to historian and women's studies academic Shailaja Paik, Dalit is a term mostly used by members of the Mahar caste, into which Ambedkar was born. Most other communities prefer to use their own caste name. In Nepal, aside from Harijan and, most commonly, Dalit , terms such as Haris among Muslims , Achhoot , outcastes and neech jati are used. Scheduled Caste communities exist across India and comprised Similar groups are found throughout the rest of the Indian subcontinent, in Nepal, [10] Pakistan, [ citation needed ] Bangladesh [ citation needed ] and Sri Lanka.

Dalits have had lowest social status in the traditional Hindu social structure but James Lochtefeld, a professor of religion and Asian studies, said in that the "adoption and popularization of [the term Dalit ] reflects their growing awareness of the situation, and their greater assertiveness in demanding their legal and constitutional rights". In the past, they were believed to be so impure that caste Hindus considered their presence to be polluting. The impure status was related to their historic hereditary occupations that caste Hindus considered to be "polluting" or debased, such as working with leather, working with feces and other dirty work. Gopal Baba Walangkar ca. Another pioneer was Harichand Thakur ca.

Ambedkar himself believed Walangkar to be the progenitor. The Constitution of India, introduced after the country gained independence , included measures to improve the socioeconomic conditions of Dalits. Aside from banning untouchability, these included the reservation system, a means of positive discrimination that created the classifications of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes OBCs. Communities that were categorised as being one of those groups were guaranteed a percentage of the seats in the national and state legislatures, as well as in government jobs and places of education.

The system has its origins in the Poona Pact between Ambedkar and Gandhi, when Ambedkar conceded his demand that the Dalits should have an electorate separate from the caste Hindus in return for Gandhi accepting measures along these lines. By , of all federal government jobs in India - In , the quality of life of the Dalit population in India was worse than that of the overall Indian population on metrics such as access to health care, life expectancy, education attainability, access to drinking water and housing. According to a report by Human Rights Watch HRW , the treatment of Dalits has been like a "hidden apartheid" and that they "endure segregation in housing, schools, and access to public services".

In rural India, stated Klaus Klostermaier in , "they still live in secluded quarters, do the dirtiest work, and are not allowed to use the village well and other common facilities". According to a report to the Ministry of Minority Affairs , over In urban areas, Some Dalits have achieved affluence, although most remain poor. Some intellectuals, such as Chandra Bhan Prasad , have argued that the living standards of many Dalits have improved since the economic system became more liberalized starting in and have supported their claims through large surveys.

While 45 per cent of SC households are landless and earn a living by manual casual labour, the figure is 30 per cent for Adivasis.

A survey by Mangalore University in Karnataka found that 93 per cent of Dalit families in the state of Karnataka live below the poverty line. According to an analysis by The IndiaGoverns Research Institute, Dalits constituted nearly half of primary school dropouts in Karnataka during the period — A sample survey in , conducted by Dalit Adhikar Abhiyan and funded by ActionAid , found that among state schools in Madhya Pradesh , 88 percent discriminated against Dalit children.

In 79 percent of the schools studied, Dalit children are forbidden from touching mid-day meals. They are required to sit separately at lunch in 35 percent of schools, and are required to eat with specially marked plates in 28 percent. There have been incidents and allegations of SC and ST teachers and professors being discriminated against and harassed by authorities, upper castes colleagues and upper caste students in different education institutes of India.