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Dalits in India

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A VIEW ON DALITS AND THEIR CONDITIONS

____________________

A paper submitted to
Rev. Dr. Jayraj Dasan

MACS
International College of Cultural Studies

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In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course
Dalit Theology, MACS 6

____________________

By

Lijoy Lovely Babu
AP01/MA30/12

Submitted on 16 – 04 – 2013 1. INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION The Dalits (also known as Untouchables, Harijans, orScheduled Castes) have historically been poor, deprived of basic human rights, and treated as social inferiors in India. Dalits are a group of people, who constitute the lowest caste of the Indian Society. According to James Massey (author of the book Dalits in India) , “The term Dalit is one of the most ancient terms which has not only survived till date but also shared by a few of world’s oldest languages like Sanskrit and Hebrew”. The term "Dalit" draws its root from the Sanskrit word “Dall” which means to crack, open or split. According to Elza Tamez, a liberation theologian, this term is used in two contexts – 1 – Phisically weak or lowly, 2 – Insignificant position in the Society. In modern times it’s a Marathi word which means "suppressed", "crushed", or "broken to pieces". It was first used by Jyotirao Phule in the nineteenth century, in the context of the oppression faced by these "untouchable" castes of the twice-born Hindus. Dalits are the group of people in the society, who are economically extremely poor, secluded and rejected by people, exploited, denied justice, lacking proper means of livelihood, often forced to sell themselves into different forms of Slavery. They are often deprived of many of their human rights and are set to hard oppression. They easily become the broken victims of dehumanisation too, as they are never treated as a human being. They are always treated as something…...

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