The Black Untouchables of India


V.T. Rajshekar

ISBN: 0-932863-05-1
124 pp,
$9.95, 1995

"The Dalit is not only forbidden to enter the home of a Brahmin but he must also not draw water from the same well, nor eat from the same pot or plate. He must not glance at or allow his shadow to fall on the Brahmin. All these acts will pollute the 'pure' Brahmin. The Dalit 'is not only Untouchable, but also Unseeable, Unapproachable, Unshadowable and even Unthinkable'... This book should be compulsory reading for those who wish to understand the true nature of the caste system and the suffering it causes to millions."

-- Crescent International

Book Review by Clarity Press

Originally published in India under the title Apartheid in India, V.T. Rajshekar's passionate work on the plight of the Indian Dalits was first introduced to North American readers through the publication of DALIT: The Black Untouchables of India in 1987. This book is the first to provide a Dalit view of the roots and continuing factors of the gross oppression of the world's largest minority (over 150 million people) through a 3,000 year history of conquest, slavery, apartheid and worse. Rajshekar offers a penetrating, often startling overview of the role of Brahminism and the Indian caste system in embedding the notion of "untouchability" in Hindu culture, tracing the origins of the caste system to an elaborate system of political control in the guise of religion, imposed by Aryan invaders from the north on a conquered aboriginal/Dravidian civilization of African descent. He exposes the almost unimaginable social indignities which continue to be imposed upon so-called untouchables to this very day, with the complicity of the political, criminal justice, media and education systems. Under Rajshekar's incisive critique, the much-vaunted image of Indian nonviolence shatters. Even India's world-celebrated apostle of pacificsm emerges in less saintly guise; in seeking to ensure Hindu numerical domination in India's new political democracy, Mahatma Gandhi advocated assimilating those whom Hindu scriptures defined as outcastes (untouchables) into the lowest Hindu caste, rather than accede to their demand for a separate electorate. Rajshekar further questions whether the Brahminist socio-political concepts so developed in turn influenced the formation of the modern Nazi doctrine of Aryan supremacy, placing the roots of Nazism deep in Indian history.

This new updated and illustrated Third Edition includes: Y.N. Kly on the Dalit plight as a warning to African-Americans; Runoko Rashidi on "Blacks as a Global Community"; the 1995 intervention at the UN on behalf of Dalits by Dr. Laxmi Berwa, and the recent US Congressional Bill 4215 on human rights in India, which marks the first US Congressional recognition of the Dalit plight.

V.T. RAJSHEKAR is recognized worldwide as one of India's foremost human rights activists and a spokesperson for the Indian Dalits. Combining the essentials of Marxism and the philosophy of the late Dr. B.R. Ambedkar into a new indigenous political philosophy, his writings clarify the caste-class struggle in India. He is editor of the internationally distributed English-language Indian bi-weekly, Dalit Voice, and Director of the Dalit Sahitya Akademy, 109/7th Cross, Palace Lower Orchards, Bangalore 560 003, India.

Order the Book

Click here to Order from Clarity Press

Dalit Bookstore