Essay on Harmful Effects of the Practice of Untouchability

3. Untouchability perpetuates inequality. Hence it cannot support the development of health) democratic traditions. It has affected our democratic system very badly.

4. Untouchability provided scope for religious conversions. Those untouchables who got dis­illusioned with the Hindu society got converted to other religions such as Christianity or Islam. Dr. Ambedkar himself had joined Buddhism at the far end of his life in protest against the caste- controlled Hinduism. [Such conversion of religion was reported in Meenakshipuram in Tamil Nadu in February 1981 in which about 1000 Harijans were converted into Islam.]

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5. Untouchability led to perennial conflicts between the upper castes and lower castes for generations, sometimes resulting in loot, arson, murder, rape, molestation, burning of houses and crops and so on.

6. Untouchability has damaged the self-image of the SCs. It has developed in them a sense of inferiority and lack of confidence which damaged their personality development.

7. Due to the practice of untouchability, the nation was deprived of the opportunity for making use of the talents, abilities and creative capacities of a sizeable number of people for hundreds of years.

8. The practice of untouchability is a black spot on the Hindu society. It is an insult to the Hindu society. It has brought down the image of the Indians in the eyes of the foreigners.

9. Social reform movements and developmental activities could not take place in the Hindi society smoothly and effectively for it was divided vertically into “touchable “and “untouchable castes. Even the great reformers such as Buddha, Mahaveera, Basavanna, Shankaracharyi Vivekananda, Dayananda Saraswathi, Gandhi, Ambedkar and a host of others could not attain complete success in their attempts to remove untouchability.

Untouchability has done enough damage to the Hindu society. As Gandhiji said it shouli become the thing of the past. It is slowly disappearing. The earlier it goes the better it will be for the nation.

The Scheduled Tribes:

The second largest group of the backward classes of the unprivileged section consists of abooi 7.42 crores of Scheduled Tribes who constitute 8.8 of the total population (1991 Census Report) The Scheduled Tribes, generally called tribal people, survived with their unchanging ways of life for centuries. The tribal people were the earliest among the present inhabitants of India. They are still primitive stage and are far from the impact of modern civilization.

They live in the forest areas, hi regions, mountainous places and deep valleys. They are known by various names such as—primitive tribes, animists, jungle people, ‘adivasis’, aboriginals, original inhabitants of India and so on Dr. Das and Das have referred to them as “submerged humanity”. Gandhiji called them ‘Girijms’. The Constitution of India has referred to them as the “Scheduled Tribes”.

The Scheduled Tribes are in majority in more than 329 Talukas. On the basis of 50% of the Scheduled Tribes population, areas have been identified in the country. In such areas more than 65% of their total population lives. It means that the tribal people are the dominant groups in some areas. In Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, majority of the population belongs to Scheduled Tribes.

They are found in relatively a big number in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Assam and Uttar Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh alone more than one crore tribals are found. Accord­ing to the Scheduled Tribe Lists Modification Order 1956, there are 414 different tribes in the vari­ous States of India.

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