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In Gandhi’s FootstepsThe Life and Times of Jamnalal Bajaj$
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B. R. Nanda

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195663433

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195663433.001.0001

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Battle Against Untouchability

Battle Against Untouchability

(p.196) 16 Battle Against Untouchability
In Gandhi’s Footsteps

B. R. Nanda

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Gandhi’s fight against the practice of untouchability. The discussion starts with a section on the question of the separate electorates for the depressed classes, which Gandhi addressed in a letter to the Secretary of State for India, Sir Samuel Hoare. By August 1932, Gandhi learned that his arguments and warnings were hugely ignored. From here, the discussion moves to Gandhi’s letter to Ramsay MacDonald, where he proposed to fast unto death, or until the scheme of separate electorates was withdrawn. It then introduces the Poona Pact, which served as a substitute of one scheme of electoral representation of the depressed classes for another scheme. It was this removal of separate electorates that marked the end of untouchability.

Keywords:   untouchability, separate electorates, depressed classes, Sir Samuel Hoare, Ramsay MacDonald, fast unto death, Poona Pact, electoral representation

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