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Article Published In Vol.3 (Jan-Feb-2015)

Social Justice in India and Contribution of Various People in the Upliftment of Dalits

Author : Mr. Mahesh and Dr. Anil Kumar Thakur

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Dalit community is regarded as a group of people who have been victims of exploitation and traditionally considered as untouchables and socially considered an inferior class. They have had physical labour as a means of livelihood and from religious point of view all the principles and beliefs were laid down to humiliate and exploit them. Several Dalits have got converted to Christianity, Buddhism and other religions as a consequence of caste system and depicts exploitation and injustice. The main concern from a modern perspective is towards social justice that demands social reform and improvement in the condition of the depressed class to be able to lead a respectable life. Social disparity was prevalent in India since ancient times. Hence, to attain social justice was not easy. “Varna system”, was entrenched in the Indian society. There was distribution of labour. A “Shudra” changed his/ her path if he/ she came in the way of a “Brahmin”. The entry of, “Shudras”, in the temples was prohibited. This social system established by the “Brahmins” had spread all across the Indian society like cancer. It was impossible to imagine about social justice in such a situation. Social justice is based on equal distribution of means, resources, materials, services, facilities, benefits, opportunities, power, duties and responsibilities and social equality at large. Social inequality prevailed in India since ancient times and this prevented social justice. The caste system in the Indian society deprived the “Shudras” of social, economical and political rights. Mahatma Gautam Buddha, Gurunanak, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, Sant Kabir, Ravidas, Mahatma Jyotibaphule, Mahatma Gandhi are some of the prominent names known to promote social justice. One of the prominent personalities who devoted his entire life for the upliftment of the socially deprived and whose name is written in golden letters is, “Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar”. He is also known as the, “ Messiah” of Dalits and untouchables. Dr. Ambedkar considered the struggle for the cause of Dalits more important than the struggle for independence. Dr. Ambedkar firmly believed that the ultimate solution to this problem lied in complete eradication of the caste system and giving adequate participation to Dalits in governance. As an architect of the Constitution of India, Dr. Ambedkar introduced a system of reservations for the members of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.

Keywords: Fundamental Rights, Varna System, Untachability, Hitkarini Sabha, Dalit Existance

 

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