Short Speech on “Untouchability”

In Bangalore W.C. & S. Mills v. Mysore State. AIR 1956 S.C. Mysore 85, “untouchability” has been given the correct meaning. The word, “untouchability” refers to the chronic social vice which is a deliberate production of the Brahamanic culture and which has created discrimination between man and man causing immense loss to the country in the course of its history.

It is ill luck of this country that the men doing most useful services are regarded as untouchable and treated in a manner which no sane man would ever dare to call humane.”

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The Parliament passed the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955 to punish the practice of untouchability. Several amendments were made in this Act in 1976 and it has been renamed as “The Protection of Civil Liberties Act, 1955”. The practice of untouchability is punishable under this Act.

The Supreme Court has held in Peoples Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India, AIR 1982 S.C. 1973 that the fundamental right conferred by Article 17 Is available against private individuals and the Constitution has been burdened to take care of this right through the State executive machinery.

It should be noted that Article 15(2) also helps in the eradication of untouchability. Thus, on the grounds of untouchability, no person can be denied access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of entertainment or the use of wells, tanks, bathing Ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or delicate to the use of general public.

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