In India, hundreds of Harijans, also called Untouchables, protested against what they see as the injustices of their position in a march through Bombay on Monday (2 October).
GV Exterior Bombay University TILT DOWN to Harijan demonstrators marching past (three shots)
TV Demonstrators marching past
CU Men carrying banners and placards and women marching (three shots)
TV Demonstrators carrying banners marching past people on busy street
LV University clock tower TILT DOWN to crowds in Oval grounds listening to speaker.
CU Speaker addressing crowd PAN TO crowd
SV Police standing near van watching crowd
SV Of crowd and banners.
India's Prime Minister Morarji Desai has denounced as a national shame the recent attacks on the Untouchables who were given land grants. He has promised to eradicate untouchability within five years. But former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi says that only she can protect and bring justice to the Harijan people.
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Background: In India, hundreds of Harijans, also called Untouchables, protested against what they see as the injustices of their position in a march through Bombay on Monday (2 October). The Harijans are India's lowest caste and as such they have been a deprived group for centuries. The Janata Government's attempt to redress the inequalities by promising them government jobs has been met with violent reaction from Indians of higher castes.
SYNOPSIS: The marchers gathered at Bombay University to start the protest march through the city to the State secretariat to deliver a message to the Chief Minister. They demanded land, better housing, financial help and basic amenities like water, electricity and agricultural implements. Attempts to redistribute land in other states has met with violence.
The demonstration fell on the birthday of former Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. He named the Harijans the "Children of God" and devoted himself to their emancipation. The Indian constitution banned untouchability, but the practice persists. They are being urged by their leaders to actively campaign for their rights.
The organisers said that during the 18 months of Prime Minister Morarji desai's government, atrocities against the Harijans have increased.
The marchers were warned not to go beyond the Oval Park grounds, so they could not deliver their message to the Chief Minister. Watched by police, they instead listened to speeches.