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Untouchable Book Pdf

While many studies suggest that Indian Untouchables do not entirely share the hierarchical values characteristic of the caste system, Michael Moffatt argues that the most striking feature of the lowest castes is their pervasive cultural consensus with those higher in the system. Though rural Untouchables question their particular position in the system, they seldom question the system as a whole, and they maintain among themselves a set of hierarchical conceptions and institutions virtually identical to those of the dominant social order.Based on fourteen months of fieldwork with Untouchable castes in two villages in Tamil Nadu, south India, Professor Moffatt's analysis specifies ways in which the Untouchables are both excluded and included by the higher castes. Ethnographically, he pursues his structural analysis in two related domains: Untouchable social structure, and Untouchable religious belief and practice.The author finds that in those aspects of their lives where Untouchables are excluded from larger village life, they replicate in their own community nearly every institution, role, and ranked relation from which they have been excluded. Where the Untouchables are included by the higher castes, they complete the hierarchical whole by accepting their low position and playing their assigned roles. Thus the most oppressed members of Indian society are often among the truest believers in the system.Originally published in 1979.The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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0 ReviewsReviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identifiedWrite reviewViramma, Life of an UntouchableBy Viramma Racine, Viramma, Josiane Racine, Jean-Luc Racine, Unesco if (window['_OC_autoDir']) _OC_autoDir('search_form_input');About this book

The term is most commonly associated with treatment of the Dalit communities in the Indian subcontinent who were considered "polluting". The term has also been used to refer to other groups, including the Burakumin of Japan, the Baekjeong of Korea, and the Ragyabpa of Tibet, as well as the Romani people and Cagot in Europe, and the Al-Akhdam in Yemen[4][5] Traditionally, the groups characterized as untouchable were those whose occupations and habits of life involved ritually "polluting" activities, such as fishermen, manual scavengers, sweepers and washermen.[6]

B. R. Ambedkar, an Indian social reformer and politician who came from a social group that was considered untouchable, theorized that untouchability originated because of the deliberate policy of the upper-caste Brahmanas. According to him, the Brahmanas despised the people who gave up the Brahmanism in favour of Buddhism. Later scholars such as Vivekanand Jha have refuted this theory.[11]

Austrian ethnologist Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf theorized that untouchability originated as class stratification in urban areas of the Indus Valley civilisation. According to this theory, the poorer workers involved in 'unclean' occupations such as sweeping or leather work were historically segregated and banished outside the city limits. Over time, personal cleanliness came to be identified with "purity", and the concept of untouchability eventually spread to rural areas as well. After the decline of the Indus Valley towns, these untouchables probably spread to other parts of India.[12] Scholars such as Suvira Jaiswal reject this theory, arguing that it lacks evidence, and does not explain why the concept of untouchability is more pronounced in rural areas.[13]

British anthropologist John Henry Hutton traced the origin of untouchability to the taboo on accepting food cooked by a person from a different caste. This taboo presumably originated because of cleanliness concerns, and ultimately, led to other prejudices such as the taboo on marrying outside one's caste. Jaiswal argues that this theory cannot explain how various social groups were isolated as untouchable or accorded a social rank.[16] Jaiswal also notes that several passages from the ancient Vedic texts indicate that there was no taboo against accepting food from people belonging to a different varna or tribe. For example, some Shrauta Sutras mandate that a performer of the Vishvajit sacrifice must live with the Nishadas (a tribe regarded as untouchable in later period) for three days, in their village, and eat their food.[17]

Untouchability is believed to have been first mentioned in Dharmashastra. According to the religious Hindu text, untouchables were not considered a part of the varna system. Therefore, they were not treated like the savarnas (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras).[7]

I don't mind untouchables if they so desire, being converted to Islam or Christianity. I should tolerate that, but I cannot possibly tolerate what is in store for Hinduism if there are two divisions set forth in the villages. Those who speak of the political rights of the untouchables don't know their India, don't know how Indian society is today constituted and therefore I want to say with all the emphasis that I can command that if I was the only person to resist this thing that I would resist it with my life.[25]

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