Did the dalits participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement?
(i) Initially, Congress had ignored the dalits for fear of offending
the Sanatanis, the conservative high-caste Hindus.
(ii) But Mahatma Gandhi believed that Swaraj would not come for a
hundred years if untouchability was not eliminated.
(iii) He called them 'Harijans' and he himself cleaned toilets to
dignify the work of sweepers.
(iv) But many dalit leaders demanded reserved seats in educational
institutions and a separate electorate.
(v) So dalit participation in the Civil Disobedience Movement was limited.
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