DALIT

The word “Dalit” comes from the Sanskrit root dal- meaning “broken, ground-down, downtrodden, or oppressed”.  “Dalit” refers to one’s caste rather than class; it applies to members of those menial castes which have born the stigma of “untouchability” because of the extreme impurity and pollution connected with their traditional occupations. Those previously known as Untouchables, Depressed Classes, and Harijans are today increasingly adopting the term “Dalit” as a name for themselves.