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Know about Dalit social reformers of India

Social reformers from the Dalit community; The human rights violation in this country is one of the major problems. The socio-economic milieu

By sanjana tiwari
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Know about Dalit social reformers of India

Featuring several inspiring accounts of Social reformers from the Dalit community.

Sanjana  Tiwari

Ground Report | New Delhi: Social reforms from the Dalit community; The human rights violation in this country is one of the major problems. The socio-economic milieu of Indian society is inherently hostile toward the protection of the human rights of Dalits. It is the cast and Varna system of social stratification which promotes the societal violation of Dalit human rights.

The four Varna‟s are Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras. Gandhiji and others in their campaign against untouchability contended that untouchables and scheduled Tribes fall under the fourth Varna namely Sudras on the basis of Manu‟s law of stratification.

Dalit (oppressed or broken) is not a new word. Apparently, it was used in the 1930‟s as a Hindi and Marathi translation of „Depressed Classes‟, the term the British used for what is now called the scheduled castes. Dr.Ambedkarchoose the term„ Broken man‟ as English translation f Dalits in his paper- “The Untouchables” in 1948. The Dalit Panthers revived the term„ Dalit‟ and include the scheduled tribes in 1973 in their manifesto. Buta Singh (ex-Chairman National Commission for Scheduled Castes) said the word Dalit is an unconstitutional term.

The modern Dalit Movements finds their origin in the 19th century when Dalits began to change their lives and Dalit aspirations began to be taken seriously. Most of the sources materials for the background of the movements were written not by the Dalits themselves but by those foreigners who became interested in them.


There are several famous and intelligent personalities who took part in this movement like Jyotirao Govindrao Phule (1827-1890):-The first leader of Dalit. He founded organisation (movement) called SatyaSodhakSamaj (society of seekers of truth) with himself as to its president and treasurer. The main objective of the organisation was to work on the liberation of Sudrasand to prevent their exploitation by the Brahmins. All the members of the samaj were supposed to treat all human beings as children of God and worship the creator without the help of any mediator. In his book sarvajaniksatya Dharma Pustak, published in 1881.

Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj:

He was the founder of reservations. He was the first person who made provisions for reservations for Dalits in Government Jobs. He was keen to give respect to Dalits. He helped much in the study of Dr.Ambedkar by sending him abroad. Narayan Guru:-Born in Kerla in Ezhava caste (untouchable caste) established the SNDP (Shree Narayan Dharma ParipalanaYogam) in Kerla and outside also.

He gave a new slogan “one religion, one caste and one God for mankind”. He also built temples that are open for all castes. Swami Vivekananda:- Swami Vivekananda used to say that untouchables were not depressed; they were suppressed by the Hindus who in turn, had suppressed themselves by suppressing themselves.


Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar:

Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 to Mahar (Hindu Untouchable) parents, RamjiMalojiSankpal (father) and Bhimbai (mother). His father was a military subedar and was a kabirpanthi devotee. For improving the conditions of untouchables he started a Marathi fortnightly, the Bahiskrit Bharat’, in April 1927, and a weekly, the Janta‟ in November 1930. In September 1927 he started the SamajSamta Sang’ for preaching social equality among the untouchables and the caste Hindus.

Inter-cast dinner and inter-cast marriage formed important parts of the programme of the organisation. As the organ of this body, he started another paper, the Samata‟ in March 1929. He also gives reservations to the SC/ST in government jobs and so many economic development schemes to make them equal to the other caste.

Dr. Ambedkar stated so many laws and restrictions in the constitution for improving and protecting their lifestyles. Media and administration are playing a great role in every manner to make their lives better.

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