Religion: Touchable

Of the crimes that have been committed in the name of religion, one of the most glaring is the Hindu doctrine of "untouchability." For centuries, some 40 million human beings, thought by ordinary Hindus to be expiating the sinfulness of former lives, have been barred from all contact with members of so-called upper castes. In some areas, untouchables were even forced to give warning of their contaminating approach along the road. Last week India's Constituent Assembly took a step (still to be implemented) that Congress Party leaders and Indian Christians have long campaigned for: it passed a resolution officially outlawing the...

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