GANDHI’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST UNTOUCHABILITY
GANDHI’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST UNTOUCHABILITY:
- Gandhi who regarded untouchability as a blot on Hinduism wanted to do away with it completely. He wrote in 1920 “… Without the removal of the taint [of untouchability], “Swaraj” is a meaningless term.”
- He even felt that the foreign domination of our country was the result of our exploitation of almost one-sixth of our own people in the name of religion. He advocated positive means for the uplift of Harijans.
- He addressed various public meetings reposing doctrines of Harijan welfare. He led several processions of Harijans with other upper caste people and made them participate in “poojas, bhajans, keerthana and puranas”. GANDHI’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST UNTOUCHABILITY
- He believed that opportunities of education and temple entry would reduce social inequalities between Harijans and caste Hindus. He launched movements for cleaning Harijan residential areas, for digging wells for them and for similar other beneficial things.
- Gandhi wrote in “Young India” in April 1925 “Temples, public wells and public schools must be open to the untouchables equally with caste Hindus.”
- He started two journals, “Harijan” and “Young India” through which he advocated his ideas. He started an ashram where people of all castes and creeds could come and stay without any differences. GANDHI’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST UNTOUCHABILITY
- Gandhi served the “Harijan Sevak Sangh” started by the social reformer Thakkar Bapa in the year 1932 for working out the religious and social welfare of the Harijans.
- The organization opened schools and dispensaries in various places and arranged for free educational facilities and scholarships for Harijan children.
GANDHI COMMITS CONGRESS FOR THE REMOVAL OF UNTOUCHABILITY:
- At the behest of Gandhi and the Congress, all the Congress candidates who contested elections in 1937 had pledged themselves to the removal of untouchability.
- An early as in 1931 itself at the Karachi Session of the Congress at the behest of Gandhi, In 1939, the temple of Madurai was opened to the Harijans.
- Thus Gandhi’s fast and his Harijan movement released tremendous forces throughout the country, which led to the removal of some of the disabilities of the Harijans. GANDHI’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST UNTOUCHABILITY