chapter  XV
42 Pages

Untouchability

ByM.K. Gandhi, Neerja Arun Gupta

Rules have to appeal to reason and must never be allowed to crush the spirit within. The rules about untouchability have been demonstrated and can be demonstrated to be injurious to the growth of the spirit, and they are wholly contrary to all that is best and noblest in Hinduism. Untouchability is not a sanction of religion; it is a device of Satan. The devil has always quoted scriptures. But scriptures cannot transcend reason and truth. They are intended to purify reason and illuminate truth. Untouchability has made the 'depressed' classes the cinderella of Hindu society. Among the marks of untouchability to be removed was the prohibition against temple-entry by Harijans. Nevertheless, the caste Hindus who recognize that untouchability is a blot on Hinduism has to atone for the sin of untouchability. It is untouchability with all its subtle forms that separates us from one another and makes life itself unlovely and difficult to live.