Untouchability in Nepal | Still a Problem

 Aren’t we feeling odd hearing untouchability exist to date in Nepal? Untouchability in Nepal is a real issue as of today as well. Since we are considered the wisest out of the rest of creatures our behavior is least than animals. We are very poor in comparison to brainless animals in showing mercy to similar species. At least they have hearts but we are heartless.

Untouchability in Nepal exists. It is existing for many years ago. It has a long history. It is not frustrating to hear from anyone of us. The people who are the victim of untouchability in Nepal accepted it as their fate and what God wants to make them. The people who are ruling untouchable people think they are gods and rule over them.

We are looking at untouchability in Nepal, its causes, effects, and solution in this article. Though the root is the same all over the world, this particular article is mainly based on Nepal.

What is untouchability? 

Untouchability is defined as discrimination mainly based on the caste system. There is no exact definition. Due to caste differences or untouchability, the discrimination can be seen in the professional workspace, pilgrimage, and other recreational places.

Untouchability in Nepal is also called ‘Pani Nachalne Jaat’. So, people who called themselves from higher caste families don’t touch lower caste people. If they touch them accidentally, they make sure to purify themselves from water and gold. This is very common in rural areas of Nepal. Though the trend is decreasing among the new generation, they are not fully accepting so-called lower caste people in their home and sit together inside the kitchen and perform rituals.

Untouchability in Nepal and its system

In Nepal, there is mainly three caste system. They are Tagadhari, Matwali, and Pani Na Chalne(untouchable). High-class families can’t eat food cooked by low-caste people. There is almost 20 caste that is considered low caste in Nepal. They reside all over the country and are bound to do traditional work due to discrimination. The major low caste is listed below.

  1. Badi
  2. Damai
  3. Dum
  4. Gaine
  5. Hudke
  6. Kami
  7. Kasai
  8. Kusle
  9. Musuhar
  10. Pode
  11. Sarki

Causes of Untouchability in Nepal

Untouchability is manmade discrimination and beliefs. It is the trick played by high-class educated families to rule uneducated and poor people to rule over them.  The major causes of untouchability are described briefly.

  1. Poverty- Poverty makes people isolated from society. They can’t enjoy any festivals without economical difficulty. One who is facing poverty is not respected by their relatives. Then how can we expect other members of society will respect them. High-class people want to stay away from poor people. Poverty contributes to untouchability.
  2. Lack of education and awareness- Poor people don’t go to school. As a result, they are not aware of human rights and they can’t fight for their rights legally. High-class people always try to dominate them under their rules.
  3. Ignorance- Low-class people are taking untouchability as their bad luck. The people who are educated are ignoring them to make them literate. No people care for others in these fast and busy days. Low caste people are ignoring the torture of the high caste. They ignore whether their children go to school or not. They are ignoring to fight for their rights to save time and money.
  4. Occupation- In the past, the caste system is originated and hence the untouchability system from the work they do. People who make our life easier by producing the most valuable things like idols, kitchen utensils, etc are untouchable.

Effects of Untouchability in Nepal

  1. Mental tension- People from the high class tease them. They scold if low caste people try to fill tap water, take bath and enter the temple. Friends, colleagues from high-class families don’t invite low-class people for sitting next to them in the classroom, playground, and lunchtime. It gives mental loneliness and they don’t want to involve in any functions where high-class people discriminate against them. They fear showcasing hidden talents.
  2. Physical torture- When low-class people are found while they are trying to enter the temple or tap, the people from society beat them. This is a major problem in rural areas in Nepal. Female slaves or servants from low-class families are forced into sexual activities. People don’t blame the high-class man but they tortured mentally and physically poor low-class families if the girl is pregnant.
  3. Development works- Society is the foundation made by all people living in the society. Both high and low-class people are responsible for developing society. All the work is equal and required equally for the smooth running of society. If one work is not completed on time, it affects the other. For example- A doctor can perform his work well if he is full of food. The food comes from farmers. Farmers can plow a field with the instruments made by iron men. In this way, our daily activities depend on every work and working people.

Solutions of Untouchability in Nepal

Untouchability is deeply rooted in our minds. Until and unless we don’t overthrow untouchability from our minds, we can’t make an untouchability-free society. The following solution will help to reduce or eliminate untouchability from our society and country.

  1. Education and awareness- All people must be educated that every human being and their work are equal. Low caste people must be aware of their rights whereas high-class people must be aware of punishment when they torture people in the name of low caste and untouchability.
  2. Regulation of law- Laws made for the untouchability system must be implemented strictly to give justice to the right person.
  3. Practice- Practice of accepting low caste people in the higher position in offices, accepting them as a bench partner in school practically helps to eliminate untouchability. The new generations must accept every people equally in every field. If we can do so, there will be a new society where we can imagine all people are treated equally.
  4. Employment opportunity- The main problem of Nepal is poverty and lack of employment. Employment opportunity makes people economically strong. Then if people are even low caste, no people will have the courage to hinder other people. It will reduce untouchability to a greater extent.

Concluding Untouchability in Nepal

Untouchability is deep-rooted as other socio-cultural practices. Discriminating and torturing people is a serious social crime. There is no untouchability between high and low caste only. There is discrimination among the low caste itself. Damai and Kami can’t accept Sarki in their home. International human rights have made its policies to punish people who discriminate against people based on caste. We must eliminate untouchability from Nepal.

The practice of untouchability in Nepal or caste-based discrimination is illegal yet we see these practices in some parts of Nepal. We must respect every people. The youth who are educated and tomorrow’s pillar work together then it is possible to feel equal not only in movies and songs but also in real life.

You can read the article published on OHCHR which was on untouchability in Nepal

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