The country which tolerates the scourge of untouchability, cannot claim to be civilized. Untouchability is the greatest social evil in India. In other countries, there is a distinction of the high and the low because of birth. Certain castes in India are considered so low that the water touched by them is considered unholy. When a high caste man is touched by a low caste man, he considers himself to have been made impure and purifies himself by bath. From time to time, social reformers have come into existence to eradicate this evil. To our great anxiety, untouchability still exists in the Indian society in spite of all the steps taken against it.
The class of untouchables and parials created by the race conscious Aryans who came and settled in India. The proud Aryans looked upon the earlier inheritants an unclean and divided themselves into four classes—-the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas and the Sudras, leaving out the non-Aryans upon whose necks they had trodden so they developed into a separate class of untouchables. They were segregated and kept away from the other three castes. It is a social prejudice, not religious, which is responsible for segregating the class. Our holy books in general and 'Bhagvadagita' is particular, does not recognize such segregation. Social prejudice is very strong. Some years ago, there were separate roads and wells for the untouchables and they were not permitted to enter into temples. They were once treated like chattels.
The social evil of untouchability has caused a great damage to the Indian religion and culture. The discarded Hindus who were disowned by the upper class people embraced another religion which granted them social liberties and status. The majority of the Christians living in India at present, were originally Hindus but were considered as untouchables. In consequence, they embraced Christianity and got the social authority to mix with the others freely. Thousands of Christian missionaries have...
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