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Untouchability rampant in Rural Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh; Delhi not far behind

Media1 min read

This news piece published in Aaj Tak highlights some of the findings from a recently published article in Economic and Political Weekly, “Explicit Prejudice—Evidence from a New Survey” by Diane Coffey, Payal Hathi, Nidhi Khurana and Amit Thorat.

A summary of the piece: Even after a long history of social movements to eliminate untouchability, it continues to be a social evil in the 21st century. A recent survey by researchers from r.i.c.e, University of Texas at Austin and Jawaharlal Nehru University find that about two-thirds of people in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan still practice it. There still exists strong opposition by a significant fraction of the population to inter-caste marriage between Dalits and Non-Dalit Hindus (about 60 and 40 percent of rural population in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, respectively). Not only do people oppose inter-caste marriage, they also want a law in place that bans it. The survey also found that women play a bigger role in the continuation of this illegal practice. Further, it was also found that the practice of untouchability is rampant not only in the rural areas but in the urban areas as well (50, 48 and 39 percent in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, respectively).

The Social Attitudes Research for India (SARI) survey is a phone based survey that covered 8065 respondents in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mumbai with an objective of understanding people’s discriminatory attitudes towards Dalits and women. When asked about women’s social status, a large fraction of respondents was not in favor of women working outside of their homes. This clearly shows that women working outside are still frowned upon. Read more...


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