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Struggle against Caste System
Immense work has been done in this field by the Ramakrishna Mission and the Arya Samaj. The Arya Samaj especially has contributed a lot towards it by their Shuddhi Movement, that is, a form of purification by which those Hindus who had converted to Islam or Christianity could come back to their own religion.
Champions of the backward classes were B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi. Ambedkar opened many schools and colleges for their benefit. Mahatma Gandhi, on the other hand, championed the cause of untouchables whom he called Harijans. He asked for temples to be thrown open to them as well as for equal treatment to them.
Even the Constitution of Free India has given the legal and constitutional support to this movement. Untouchability was declared a punishable offence. But we still have a long way to go to achieve our cherished goal of a society based on complete equality and equity, a society where all the members—men or women coming from any social or economic background—are happy and their needs fulfilled. And we will all have to work together to bring about such a situation.