Untouchability is not merely the reluctance to touch or socially interact with another human being or group, it is an attitude on the part of a whole group of people that relates to a deeper psychological process of thought and belief, invisible to the naked eye, translated into various physical acts and behaviours, norms and practices.
Untouchability is prompted by the spirit of social exclusion and the belief in purity, contagion and self-righteousness that characterise certain societies. It had, for instance, generally been taken for granted that Dalits pollute people and are at the lowest end of the South Asian society and many a times Dalits were known to have been prevented from engaging in any work other than handling corpses, removing human waste (see “manual scavenging”), dragging away and skinning animal carcasses, tanning leather, making and fixing shoes, washing clothes and execution of criminals. They were supposed to reside outside the village so that their physical presence did not pollute the “main” village. Not only had they been restricted in terms of space, but their houses were inferior in quality and devoid of any facilities like water and electricity.The government of independent India has, however, introduced many measures like low cost or free housing and free electricity for those below the poverty line, to address these problems.
In rural India, Dalits are sometimes barred from using wells used by non-Dalits, forbidden from going to the barber shop and entering temples, while at the level of job recruitment and employment many Dalits are known to be paid less, ordered to do the most menial work, and rarely promoted, except in the government jobs reserved for them. Even at school, there have been instances of Dalit children being asked to clean toilets and to eat separately, although the government comes down heavily in these cases and punishes the offenders, as soon as these are highlighted by the alert Indian media.
I believe that the United States Constitution does not truly reflect a federalist system. In fact, I believe that the federalist system, in which states have considerable power to exercise, was all but abolished by the United States Constitution. In answering this question, American Government, by Peter Wolf, gives a few examples of what Federalism meant back in the late 1700s, and why, during the ...