Write up on amazing topic untouchability

Untouchability is a social practice that has deep historical roots, particularly in the Indian subcontinent.

It is a form of discrimination based on caste, where certain groups are considered ‘untouchable’ or ‘Dalits,’ subjected to social ostracism and denied basic human rights.

Despite legal measures and societal progress, untouchability remains a prevalent issue, affecting millions of people.

Historical Origins:

The origins of untouchability can be traced back to the ancient caste system in India.

The caste system classified society into rigid hierarchical groups, known as varnas, with Brahmins (priests and scholars), Kshatriyas (warriors and rulers), Vaishyas (merchants and farmers), and Shudras (laborers) forming the primary divisions.

Outside this system were the ‘Dalits’ or the ‘Scheduled Castes,’ considered impure and relegated to menial tasks.

The hierarchical structure, deeply ingrained in religious texts, perpetuated social inequalities for centuries.

Social Structure and Untouchability:

  • Untouchability is a product of a hierarchical social structure that associates purity and pollution with specific occupations and birth.
  • Those labeled as ‘Dalits’ were traditionally assigned degrading occupations such as manual scavenging, leatherwork, and handling dead bodies.
  • They were excluded from social, religious, and economic activities, facing severe discrimination.

Economic Exploitation:

  • The practice of untouchability has led to economic exploitation of Dalits, as they are often denied access to land, education, and economic opportunities.
  • Many are forced into low-wage, menial jobs with little job security.
  • The lack of economic empowerment perpetuates the cycle of poverty within Dalit communities.

Education and Social Mobility:

  • Access to education has been a significant challenge for Dalits.
  • Discrimination and prejudice often prevent them from attending schools, and if they do, they may face discrimination from teachers and peers.
  • This lack of education hinders social mobility and perpetuates the cycle of poverty and marginalization.

Legal Measures and Abolition:

  • Recognizing the grave injustice of untouchability, independent India enacted laws and constitutional provisions to abolish this practice.
  • The Indian Constitution, through Articles 15 and 17, explicitly prohibits discrimination on grounds of caste and the practice of untouchability.
  • Additionally, stringent laws were enacted to prevent atrocities against Scheduled Castes.

Efforts for Eradication:

  • Over the years, various governmental and non-governmental initiatives have been implemented to eradicate untouchability.
  • Affirmative action policies, such as reservations in education and employment, aim to uplift Dalit communities.
  • Educational programs, awareness campaigns, and grassroots movements led by social reformers have also played a vital role in challenging discriminatory practices.

Challenges in Eradication:

Despite legal measures and social initiatives, untouchability persists due to deeply ingrained cultural beliefs, societal norms, and economic interests.

Some of the challenges in eradicating untouchability include:

  1. Cultural Resistance: Deep-rooted beliefs and prejudices often resist change. Many communities still adhere to discriminatory practices based on age-old cultural norms.
  2. Economic Interests: The caste system is intricately linked with economic interests. Certain communities benefit from the exploitation of labor and the denial of equal opportunities to Dalits, creating resistance against change.
  3. Lack of Effective Implementation: While laws exist, their effective implementation remains a challenge. Many cases of discrimination go unreported or are inadequately addressed by the legal system.
  4. Social Stigma: The stigma associated with being labeled ‘Dalit’ continues to affect social relationships, making it difficult for individuals to escape discrimination and participate fully in society.
  5. Political Factors: Caste-based politics and vote-bank considerations sometimes perpetuate caste divisions rather than working towards their eradication.


Untouchability, a social malady rooted in centuries-old beliefs, continues to be a significant challenge in modern society.

While legal frameworks and social initiatives have made progress, the complete eradication of untouchability requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses cultural, economic, and political dimensions.

Education, awareness, and sustained efforts at all levels of society are crucial to creating an inclusive and egalitarian environment.

By acknowledging the historical injustices and actively working towards social reform, communities can collectively strive for a more just and equitable society, free from the shackles of untouchability.


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