Human Rights and the World's Major Religions

By William H. Brackney | Go to book overview

THIRTEEN
Untouchables and Human Rights

A major test for human rights within Hinduism is the treatment given to untouchables. Untouchability was made illegal in India several months after Gandhi’s death. When the measure was passed on November 29, 1948, Dr. Ambedkar was present in the Constituent Assembly as its members shouted “Mahatma Gandhi Ki Jai” (victory to Mahatma Gandhi). In fact, Gandhi had opposed legal measures, believing that moral suasion of the caste Hindus was the best attack against untouchability. Ambedkar, himself an untouchable, strongly disagreed with Gandhi’s approach and believed that the untouchables had to become educated and fight for their own freedom and equality—provisions that Ambedkar wrote into law as he drafted India’s new Constitution. How was it then that at the moment when untouchability was legally abolished in India, Gandhi, rather than Ambedkar, received the praise?


UNTOUCHABILITY PRIOR TO 1920

In his book, Untouchables or the Children of India’s Ghetto, Ambedkar describes the position of untouchables under the Hindu social order as follows.1 Whereas Gandhi idealized the Indian village, to Ambedkar, the village is the site of social evil. In the village, says Ambedkar, there is a code established by the caste Hindus, which the untouchables have to follow. Breaking this code by acts of commission or omission by untouchables is treated as an offense. The basic idea is that untouchables are impure and must be separated from pure-caste Hindus so as not to pollute them.

-263-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Human Rights and the World's Major Religions
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 486

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.