• Short Summary

    THE PRACTICE OF UNTOUCHABILITY IN INDIA, WHICH IS BANNED BY LAW, IS THE CAUSE OF A TRIAL WHICH OPENED YESTERDAY (THURSDAY) IN PATNA, IN BIHAR STATE.

  • Description

    THE PRACTICE OF UNTOUCHABILITY IN INDIA, WHICH IS BANNED BY LAW, IS THE CAUSE OF A TRIAL WHICH OPENED YESTERDAY (THURSDAY) IN PATNA, IN BIHAR STATE. ONE OF INDIA'S SENIOR HINDU LEADERS, THE JAGADGURU SANKARACHARYA OF PURI, WAS SUMMONED TO COURT IN PATNA ACCUSED OF DEFENDING THE PRACTICE OF UNTOUCHABILITY.

    THE JAGADGURU -- THE TITLE MEANS "WORLD TEACHER" -- HAD A CASE FILED AGAINST HIM BASED ON A RECENT IN WHICH HE SAID THAT THE HINDU RELIGION ACCEPTED UNTOUCHABILITY AND CONSIDERED SOME PEOPLE TO BE BORN UNTOUCHABLES. HE WAS NOT IN COURT YESTERDAY, BUT WAS REPRESENTED BY LAWYERS.

    THERE ARE 65 MILLION UNTOUCHABLES, OR "HARIJANS", IN INDIA AND THEY ARE THE LOWEST OF HINDU CASTES. THEY ARE LARGELY CONSIDERED TO BE SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS.

    THEIR TOUCH WAS ONCE CONSIDERED TO MEAN POLLUTION FOR HIGHER-CLASS HINDUS AND THE GREAT MAJORITY CARRY OUT ONLY MENIAL TASKS. SOME SWEEP REFUSE. MANY HARIJANS LIVE IN DELHI, WHERE THEY WORSHIP AT SPECIAL TEMPLES TO THE IMAGE OF VALMIKI.

    ALTHOUGH THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT IS ATTEMPTING TO CONTAIN UNTOUCHABILITY -- AND HAS ASKED THE GOVERNMENT OF BIHAR STATE TO TRY SANKARACHARYA -- THE AGE-OLD PREJUDICE OF THE COUNTRY ARE PROVING HARD TO BREAK DOWN. DESPITE CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEES OF EQUALITY, UNTOUCHABLES STILL FIND THEMSELVES RELEASED TO THEIR SECOND-CLASS CONDITIONS.

    IN PATNA YESTERDAY, THREE WITNESSES TOLD THE COURT THAT BECAUSE THE JAGADGURU WAS A LEADING EXPONENT OF HINDUISM, HIS VIEWS HAD GREAT IMPACT ON THE HINDU MIND. THEY SAID THAT HIS DEFENCE OF UNTOUCHABILITY HAD CREATED DIVISIONS IN SOCIETY.

    THE CASE IS TO RE-OPEN MONDAY (28 APRIL).

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA97542WK1ZIN2XF92ZGFW9G6OT
    Media URN:
    VLVA97542WK1ZIN2XF92ZGFW9G6OT
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/04/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:46:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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