Harijan (Hindustani: हरिजन (Devanagari), ہریجن (Nastaleeq); translation: "Child of Hari/Vishnu") is a term popularized by Indian revolutionary leader Mahatma Gandhi for referring to Dalits, traditionally considered to be Untouchable. However the euphemism is now regarded as condescending by many, with some Dalit activists calling it insulting. As a result, the Government of India and several state governments forbid or discourage its use for official purposes.
Though Gandhi popularized the term harijan, it was coined by the Gujarati poet-saint Narasimha Mehta. 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.
Harijan: Mohandas Gandhi's publication
Gandhi started publishing a weekly journal of the same name on 11 February 1932 from Yerwada Jail during British rule. He created three publications: Harijan in English (from 1933 to 1948), Harijan Bandu in Gujarati, and Harijan Sevak in Hindi. These newspapers found Gandhi concentrating on social and economic problems, much as his earlier English newspaper, Young India, had done from 1919 to 1932.
- Indian Opinion (Gandhi's newspaper originally published during his time in South Africa)
- Gandhi Heritage Portal
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Harijan.|
- Jenkins, Laura Dudley (November 2003). "Another "People of India" Project: Colonial and National Anthropology". The Journal of Asian Studies (Association for Asian Studies) 62 (4): 1143–1170. JSTOR 3591762. (subscription required (. ))
- "Use of word `Harijan' objected". The Hindu. 27 September 2003. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- "Government bans use of word Harijan". Indian Express. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- "Origin of name 'Harijan'". mkgandhi.org. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- B. N. Srivastava (1997). Manual Scavenging in India: A Disgrace to the Country. Concept Publishing Company. p. 15. ISBN 9788170226390.
- "The Sacred and Profane in the Bhakti Religious Tradition." Women Writing in India, vol 1. Tharu & Lalita, eds. Feminist Press at CUNY, 1993.
- Archives of Harijan 11 February 1933
- Harijan Bandu
- Harijan Sevak
- Gandhi As A Journalist
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