Untouchability Prevalent in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh Largely, Claims Survey
New Delhi, Jan 12: Around two-third population in rural Uttar Pradesh and rural Rajasthan still practice untouchability, a new survey has claimed. It also states that half of the population in these areas is also opposed to Dalit and non-Dalit Hindu inter-marriages.
The Social Attitude Research, India (SARI) survey states that 50 per cent of respondents in urban Rajasthan, 48 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and 39 per cent in Delhi admitted to practicing untouchability.
The survey was conducted by the University of Texas, the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics, and Jawaharlal Nehru University, through representative phone surveys in 2016 in Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan and UP. It focuses on discrimination against Dalits and women and a total of 8,065 people (men and women) were interviewed for the survey.
Responses on Dalit and non-Dalit Hindu and inter-marriages vary between 60 per cent in rural Rajasthan and 40 per cent in UP, as per the survey. The respondents also favoured a law which would prohibit inter-caste marriages.
Notably, inter-caste and inter-faith marriages have been made legal in India by Special Marriage Act in 1954.
The survey also has results on significant attitudes towards women. On eating last at home, 60 per cent of women in rural UP say they eat at the end, and about one-third in Delhi reported the same.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Diane Coffey, at the University of Texas in Austin, said, “What these big numbers reveal is that prejudice remains very common – too common. And that means that life could be a lot better for Dalits, for women, and for everyone touched by an unequal society.”
She also said that this fact establishes why social inequality must be a priority for policy-makers.