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Rampant “Untouchability” Continues

March 22nd, 2013

When Dalits find Christ, they find a freedom they have never known.


High incidents of discrimination against Dalits have led a government survey to label hundreds of villages in Tamil Nadu, India, “atrocity-prone.” For Raji, a Dalit woman in Tamil Nadu, a polio vaccination represented her own personal atrocity.

According to the online newspaper theindian.com, when Raji took her baby son to get a free, government-sponsored immunization “meant to cut across caste and religion to eradicate polio,” she was turned away. Her baby did eventually get the vaccine—at the command of police after local media brought attention to her situation.

But that was not the only “atrocity” to touch Raji’s life. Her family was among four Dalit families to receive land from the government. However, the village elders pressured the four families to turn the land over for village use, which they refused to do. In retaliation, the members of higher castes in the village made life miserable for the families, even blocking them from taking water from the village well.

Widespread numbers of Dalits can relate to Raji’s experiences. In spite of attempts to end the caste system, it remains deeply ingrained in daily culture.

Reminiscent of America’s days of segregation, theindian.com also reported that the “double tumbler system,” in which tea shops keep drinking glasses for Dalits separate from those used by upper castes, is still common.

The detailed report of how “ Untouchability ” manifests itself in Tamil Nadu is representative of the attitude throughout India and nearby countries. While millions of people are still looked down on as less than human, Gospel for Asia missionaries press on to bring them the Good News that Jesus values them enough to give His life to save them.


This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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