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Dalit, meaning "oppressed" in Sanskrit is the self-chosen political name of castes in India which are "untouchable".


  • It is useless to talk of a democracy as long as this kind of prejudice (untouchability) sways our mind and influences our conduct towards those from whom we differ in religion or whose forms of occupation we dislike. … The process of building a nation is a moral process. You cannot engage in work of this kind with success by practicing duplicity. … It is sufficiently humiliating that we should have to mention untouchability at all in our programme; but to have avoided it for fear of offending the sensibilities of some classes of our countrymen would have been even worse. It would have been immoral.
    • Lala Lajpat Rai quoted from What India Owes Lala Lajpat Rai by Aravindan Neelakandan [1]
  • Reformers like Swami Vivekananda, like Gandhiji, like Narayan Guru had had no difficulty in showing that Untouchability had no sanction in our scriptures, that, on the contrary, the conclusive doctrinal argument lay in the central proposition of the scriptures themselves: namely, that all was Brahman, that the same soul inhered in all. There was also the historical fact that whatever might have been the excrescences which had grown around or in the name of Hinduism, the entire and long history of the religion showed that it was uniquely receptive to new ideas, that it was uniquely responsive to reformers, that it was adaptable as no other religion was, and therefore there was no reason to believe that it would not reform itself out of this evil also.
    • Arun Shourie: Worshipping False Gods, p.230.
  • No one in the twentieth century has done as much to rid us of untouchability as Gandhiji. He attached more importance to ridding Hinduism of this accretion than to attaining swaraj. He brought upon himself the hostility of orthodox opinion all over India by his uncompromising stand on the matter. But the other day, speaking during the commemorative session of Parliament, Kanshi Ram asserted that abolishing untouchability was never on Gandhiji’s agenda. Not one person stood up to contradict him, not one stood up to point to the record of forty years of our country’s recent history.
    • Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.

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