More than 100 forms of Untouchability and Caste Discrimination

According to a study conducted by Sakshi- Human Rights Watch[1], there are above 100 forms of untouchability and discrimination on SC STs is prevailing. These all are the gross violation of human rights and also violation of laws of the land.

Caste system

  1. Segregation of drinking vessels the SC STs are supposed to get their tumblers or bowls to relish the menu at these outlets.
  2.  In some instances Dalits are served in aluminium tumblers contrary to steel tumblers used for dominant caste groups.
  3. In case of common water source Dalits are not allowed to fetch water but dominant castes draw the water for the Dalits and pour into their pots. They have to wait until dominant caste people come and pleased to fetch the water for them.
  4. In certain cases Dalits and dominant castes stand in separate queues at different pulleys of the wells.
  5. Dalits are not supposed to touch the pots of dominant castes.
  6.  Dalits have to fetch water only after dominant castes draw water.
  7.  In most of the villages separate wells and bore-wells persist for Dalits and dominant caste. In case of acute shortage of water dominant castes can fetch water from Dalit water source. But on the contrary if similar situation arise for Dalits, they are denied. In case dominant castes want to fetch water from Dalits’ bore-well they primarily are supposed to clean the bore-well and its surroundings.
  8. In case of natural lakes, ponds and tanks Dalits are supposed to fetch from the downstream where dominant castes do not approach.
  9. Pouring drinking water in to the hands of SC STs instead of giving it in a glass
  10. Dalits are not allowed to enter into their houses and they are compelled to stand far away from the houses of dominant castes. Dalits can only go to certain parts of their houses i.e. the outer extension of the house, outside the threshold but not the interior parts of their houses. In some cases Dalits are allowed but they are asked to clean their feet and hands before they come into their houses. Dalits are sometime allowed to enter to store their agricultural produce at the time of harvest
  11. On occasion of marriage or a function in dominant caste families, Dalits are not invited, in case invited they are supposed to dine after the dominant caste finish their turn. In certain cases Dalits are supposed to get their plates and in certain instances they are told to wash their plates after the dinner.
  12. Some time they are served in towels or they hold their upper garment. In most of the cases Dalits are served at a distant place from the hosted premises.
  13. Segregation in seating – Dalit students have to sit separately that too at backside in the schools, Teachers abuse SC ST children by Caste Name and Not allowed to eat together with non-Dalit students, there will be segregation of Water facilities
  14. Discrimination between Dalit and non-Dalit teachers, Discrimination between Dalit students and non-Dalit teacher, Not admitting children in schools at dalit at SCST villages
  15. Prohibit to wear clean/good clothes come to the vicinity of dominates castes
  16. Dalits are not allowed to sit on public places such as Racchabanda[2], bus stops. Or Dalit allowed to sit but at down level
  17. Dalit have sit separately at some distance from other castes’ people.
  18. Dalit have to stand at these places with folded hands.
  19. Dalits are not allowed to walk with sandals in the vicinity of dominant castes.
  20. Not allowed to use umbrella in dominant caste localities.
  21. Not allowed to ride cycles, rickshaws, in certain cases not allowed going even on bullock carts.
  22. If non-Dalits encounter Dalit women in the way, Dalit women are supposed to walk at a distance.
  23. Dalit women should wear their saree above the knees and cover their head whenever they find non-Dalits walking in the way.
  24. Dalit women are not allowed to wear blouses.
  25. Dalit women are not allowed to wear gold jewellery
  26. Forced drum beating for funerals and festivals/jataras
  27. Forced grave digging and Cremation
  28. Harbingers death news
  29. Chappal Making
  30. Removal of carcass
  31. Animal Sacrifice
  32. Dalits are supposed to sweep the whole village at the time of festivals and jataras.
  33. Manual Scavenging
  34. Standing up in respect before dominant castes and standing with folding hands
  35. Denial of laundry service
  36. Dalits themselves take their clothes to dhobi ghat (place of washing clothes) and wet their clothes at lower level of the stream and wait till the dhobi washes.
  37. Even laundry shop owners deny ironing clothes of Dalits.
  38. They render service but they do not take grain as paid by the other non-dalit communities
  39. Dalits are denied to provide hair cutting services
  40. In some cases if a family member is providing hair cutting services to Dalits the same person is not supposed to provide to non-Dalits.
  41. Hair cutting saloons, a recent phenomenon in villages. If Dalits allowed into the shops but they use separate instruments.
  42. Dalits are allowed into shops, but are denied the service at home as they do to dominant castes.
  43. Person who serves dominant castes is not allowed to serve to the Dalits but another person from same family can provide service to the Dalits.
  44. In certain cases they render service to Dalits in Dalit locality but they purify themselves immediately after coming back to their house.
  45. Tailor does not touch while taking measurements, take measurements from distance.
  46. Darning services are not extended to Dalits as they do for non-Dalits,
  47. When Dalit goes to a tailor he/she should take the measurements at home
  48. Prohibited to touch pot while purchasing and they take whatever the potter gives
  49. Denial of Carpenter Services
  50. Prohibited enter into the shops
  51. Allowed but should not touch any thing
  52. Should stand in separate line not touching non-Dalits
  53. Not allowing to touch items and have to show with a small stick while purchasing
  54. Dalit can sell in the weekly market but they should only sell dry fish and fish.
  55.  Keeping money or items Dalits bought on floor
  56. Dalit should stand outside the shop and exchange takes place by throwing money and item.
  57.  Keeping separate tray for Dalit by which exchange takes place.
  58. In PDS Depots Dalit should stand outside the shop and exchange takes place by throwing money and item.
  59. Should stand carefully without touching the belongings of non-Dalits
  60. At any queue Separate timings for SC STs
  61. Dealer do not touch Dalits while giving provisions
  62. Discrimination at Working in the fields – Standing outside the field until non-Dalits finishes ritual performance in the beginning of agricultural activity.
  63. Entering into the fields only after non-Dalits
  64. Not allowed to take water from wells and pots
  65. Dalits have to bring drinking water to the working place.
  66. Need to keep their lunch boxes separately
  67. Need to sit separately while taking lunch
  68. Should not touch the vessels if the non-Dalit employer provides lunch
  69. Lease rates and conditions differ for Dalit tenants and dominant castes
  70. Discrimination in Payment of wages – No Physical contact, Keeping money on the floor, throwing in to hands
  71. When Dalits invite non-Dalit for some celebrations, they just come but don’t eat the food prepared by the Dalit but hire a man from their community and makes him cook separately for them.
  72. Non-Dalits never attend the functions or any kind of celebrations in the Dalit families but their quota of food should be ordered directly from the shop without getting into physical contact with Dalits.
  73.  Food for Dalits is served in leaves but for non-Dalits in plates.

74. Buying Stamps and other things in post office,  Discrimination in delivering of letters by postman and  Late delivery of letters-  Delivering letters through other Dalits without visiting SC ST villages

75. Discrimination in Heath services (Private and Public) – Denial of entry into heath centres

76. Separate line for Dalits in health centres

77. Avoiding physical touch in checkups and prescribing medicines

78.Heath workers do not visit Dalit SC ST villages

79. Asking Dalits to come to main village for treatment

80. Denial of selling products – Sale of milk by SC STs

81.Discrimination in Public Transport Services – Dalit have to enter into buses after the dominant Castes.

82.Dalits have to sit on backside seats in the buses.

83.Dalits are not allowed to sit besides the dominant castes’ people.

84.Dalits have to offer seats to dominant caste people even though entered late.

85.Electoral and Political Discrimination Denial of entry into polling booths

86.Segregation of seats in village council

87.Preventing exercise of franchise

88.Forced to vote for their candidates

89.Separate queues at polling booths

90.Permitted to Vote only after dominant castes

91.Dalit sarpanch will not be given Panchaayat records

92.Ward members, sarpanch to stand in front of non-Dalit ward members

93. Dalits should not hoist party flags of their choice

94.Religious and Cultural Discrimination – Denial of entry into temples.

95.Denial of sitting before temples.

96.Confined to drum beating during festival and jataras (traditional festivals to please deities), and act as harbingers of information pertaining to religious get-togethers.

97.Religious processions of upper caste deities will not enter Dalits localities

98.Dalits deities processions should not enter non-dalit localities

99.Dalits denied to offer performing pooja and breaking of coconut

100.Brahmins deny performing marriage rituals, naming ceremonies, death rituals, house warming, etc.,

101.Dalit men will not be entertained by non-Dalit jogins[3]

102.Dalit jogins cannot bargain for services and cannot deny services to any upper castes

103.Dalits cannot bury their dead in the village burial ground

104.Dalit are not to take marriage processions in the vicinity of dominant castes. In some case Dalits are allowed but should not beat drums.

105.In certain villages Dalits are allowed but bride and groom should be on foot in dominant castes’ vicinity.

106.Untouchability in Marriages of the Dalits – Blessings – compulsion Collection of Nuptial Knot (Mangalsuthra or Thaali)

107.Funeral Procession: Dalits are not supposed to take funeral procession through the dominant caste dwelling areas.

108.Sitting arrangements in the Women’s self help group meetings- Segregation of seating arrangements in SHG meetings

109. Prohibit to organize meetings in SC ST Villages

110.Separate groups, upper caste members will not join dalit groups-Dalits not allowed to join upper caste groups

111.Discrimination in Irrigation facilities to SC STs –  Prohibit to irrigate lands before other castes, Need to take permission from other caste

112.Separate seating arrangements in Government tailoring centre

113. Dalit daya[4] allowed entry into house but will not be allowed to take bath after labour service while non-Dalit daya can take bath.

114.Dalit daya is supposed to sit outside with curtains around and help in delivery

115.Non-Dalit daya-if she serves labour service to the Dalit, she will not take bath and not take the saree they offer.

116.Non-Dalit daya will not bathe the baby


[1] Dr. Prasad Sirivella, Study on Untouchability in Andhra Pradesh, Sakshi Human Rights Watch, Andhra Pradesh, 2002, viewed on 1st may 2013 at

[2] Traditional meeting place in the Telangana villages to resolve the disputes in the village by the land lords

[3] In Hinduism, a devadasi (Sanskrit: servant of deva or devi (god)) is a girl “married” to a deity and dedicated to worship and service of the deity or a temple for the rest of her life it resulted as prostitution

[4] Traditional child birth experts in Telangana region

1 Comment

Filed under Caste Discrimination, Casteism, Dalit, Dr B R Ambedkar

One response to “More than 100 forms of Untouchability and Caste Discrimination

  1. virendra singh

    Very nice .


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