In today’s world of technology, Democracy, Equality being spread, and Pandemics being won, it feels almost improper to still prove and more particularly educate the human race about untouchability and how it should not at all be practiced.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar once said that there have been many Mahatmas in India whose sole object was to remove untouchability & elevate & absorb the Depressed Classes but every one of them have failed. Mahatmas have come and gone but untouchables have remained as untouchables.” This quote is a mirror on the year of  1932 in India, where the reformers were struggling on removing untouchability from our society and were failing to achieve that.

By the passing years, this issue became more sane and prominent to everyone and just actions were taken towards it. Affirmative action policies for Dalits and other socioeconomic groups that fall under the caste system were included in India’s national constitution of 1950, which also officially outlawed the practice of untouchability. The Social Impact which came through such a law was hope for India of better days, days when a person will be representing their capabilities and not their castes.

Listed below are the Steps that were taken by the decision-makers toward solving caste-based discrimination and untouchability issue-

  • • Reservations in several areas of public life for people who belong to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. These include reserving seats in state and federal legislatures (state assemblies, the Lok Sabha, and the Rajya Sabha), reserving positions in the public sector, including jobs in all departments, and reserving seats in educational institutions.
  • The Caste Disabilities Removal Act of 1850 prohibited citizens’ rights from being restricted merely because of a change in religion or caste.
  • • Untouchability was outlawed by the Constitution (Article 17), which implies that Dalits are now free to pursue their own education, visit temples, use public amenities, etc. Additionally, it signifies that a democratic government will not accept the practise of untouchability since it is wrong. Untouchability in actuality
  •  1989 Prevention of Atrocities Act revised and strengthened the legal provisions punishing acts of violence or humiliation against Dalits and Adivasis.
  • Article 15 of the Constitution notes that no citizen of India shall be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) were set up to investigate and monitor all matters related to safeguarding the provisions for SC/ST under the Constitution and evaluating the working of those safeguards.

But my question to the readers is, has untouchability been removed from society or is it still present behind these just laws towards them? Even today, there are stereotypical people in society who are not ready to get above such caste discrimination and accept the laws, because of these people there are still people facing such unjust behavior and being treated as untouchables. Especially people in rural areas who are not so educated and aware, and are still living their lives as if it is 1932.

We need to cure that, we need to remove the practice of untouchability from being practiced. Creating awareness towards the same is the first step each individual needs to take, reservation policies should be dynamic, i.e. laws being framed according to the situation and how it is benefiting each individual,  implementing a well-structured plan and then working on it keeping each factor in mind is what is going to help.

Author: aishwarya srivastava,
Lovely Professional University

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