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For the village in Iran, see Harijan, Iran.

Harijan (Hindustani: हरिजन (Devanagari), ہریجن (Nastaleeq); translation: "Child of Hari/Vishnu") is a term popularized by Mohandas Gandhi for referring to Dalits, traditionally considered to be untouchable.

Though Gandhi popularized it, the word harijan was coined by Gujarati poet-saint Narasimha Mehta.[1][2] According to other source the medieval devotional poet Gangasati used the term to refer to herself during the Bhakti movement, a period in India that gave greater status and voice to women while challenging the legitimacy of caste. Gangasati lived around the 12th-14th centuries and wrote in the Gujarati language.[3]

Harijans newspaper

Harijan: Mohandas Gandhi's publication[edit]

Gandhi started publishing a weekly journal by the same name Harijan on 11 February 1932 from Yerwada Jail during the British rule in India.[4] He created three publications: Harijan in English (from 1933 to 1948), Harijan Bandu in Gujarati,[5] and Harijan Sevak in Hindi.[6] These newspapers found Gandhi concentrating on social and economic problems, much as his earlier English newspaper, Young India, had done from 1919 to 1932.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Origin of name 'Harijan'". mkgandhi.org. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  2. ^ B. N. Srivastava (1997). Manual Scavenging in India: A Disgrace to the Country. Concept Publishing Company. p. 15. ISBN 9788170226390. 
  3. ^ "The Sacred and Profane in the Bhakti Religious Tradition." Women Writing in India, vol 1. Tharu & Lalita, eds. Feminist Press at CUNY, 1993.
  4. ^ Archives of Harijan 11 February 1933
  5. ^ Harijan Bandu
  6. ^ Harijan Sevak
  7. ^ Gandhi As A Journalist


External Links[edit]