Gandhi’s Harijans: The Misunderstood Sect

By Anmol Kaur Bawa, Symbiosis Law College, Pune.

HARIJANS AND THEIR SOCIAL DISABILITIES:

The term “harijan” is not Gandhi’s coinage. The name was suggested by several untouchable correspondents who contended the usage of the word “asprishya” meaning literally “untouchable” in the pages of “Navjivan”.  Harijan means “man of god”. All the religions of the world describe God pre-eminently as the friend of the friendless, help of the helpless and protector of the weak; hence the word aptly demystifies the condition of the untouchables in India as the most helpless, weak and friendless men in the society and according to Gandhi, they belong to the community of untouchables. (more…)