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The self-designation of members of a 20th-century social and political movement, comprised of those known by others as ‘untouchables’, ‘outcastes’,‘scheduled castes’, or, in the case of M. K. Gāndhī, harijans. The general purpose of the movement has been to raise the status and awareness of such noncaste groups (which may include Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims) and to organize them as a political and cultural force.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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