The Practice of “Untouchability” in India: Norm of Seven Decades and Still Counting

  • Tanima Tewari and Shrishti Shrivas
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  • Tanima Tewari

    Student at SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management studies, Indore, India

  • Shrishti Shrivas

    Student at SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management studies, Indore, India

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This research paper delves into the multifaceted dimensions of untouchability in India, the exploration begins with an elucidation of what untouchability entails. It functions as a societal structure upholding and endorsing discriminatory, degrading, isolating, and exploitative actions against individuals from specific social categories, it entails regarding certain individuals as ritually unclean, to the point where their mere presence or physical contact is believed to bring about impurity. After the passing of untouchability offences act, 1955 the National Crime Records Bureau report shows that there exist still the instances of untouchability leading into an increased crime rate against Dalits. The entrenched nature of untouchability within society persists despite the concerted endeavours undertaken by legislative and judicial bodies through the enactment of distinctive statutes and the establishment of precedents aimed at eradicating inhumane practices like untouchability and untreated manual scavenging. This research paper focuses on the popular theories regarding the origins of untouchability. Although popular belief frequently links its origins to old Hindu texts, this view is challenged. Rather, it puts forth a different theory that links the origins of untouchability to the work of Herbert Risley during the colonial era, when he divided Indian society into set castes for administrative reasons. This study explores the continued existence of untouchability after the Untouchability Offenses Act's implementation in 1955. It challenges widely held beliefs about the efficacy of legislative measures to disentangle the intricate reasons for the persistence of discriminatory practices through an analysis of the socio-political environment, legal frameworks, and cultural dynamics. This research paper emphasizes relationship between untouchability and the rising crime rates in India. By scrutinizing crime statistics and drawing correlations between socio-economic disparities and criminal activities, it aims to highlight the intricate interplay between caste-based discrimination and its contribution to criminal trends in the country.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 2, Page 2319 - 2335


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