India Untouched – Stories of a People Apart


This is a long documentary by activist-filmmaker Stalin K about the scourge of caste and untouchability in modern-day India, where in fact it remains a widespread practice even though holding or treating anyone as untouchable legally a crime.

The film is impressive in its comprehensiveness, covering the subject in all parts of the country, amongst Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians; in the educated and uneducated classes; from the most trivial to the most serious discrimination and violence, the film uncovers a lifetime of abuse against people deemed unclean by birth.

Varanasi scholars and ‘holy’ men defend the practice by appeal to the scriptures, which supercedes their adherence to the law, and there are many telling quotes from the Laws of Manu justifying it.

If Stalin had ventured outside of India and into Sri Lanka, he would have found another society that is stricken by caste, where even the Sangha unholds caste distinctions.

The difference, though is this: unlike appeals to the Laws of Manu by Hindus, there is nothing at all in the Buddha’s teaching that can be used to justify caste discrimination, and it does not exist in other Buddhist countries which are outside of India’s direct influence.

This, in part, is what the Buddha had to say about it (from The Discourse on the Outcastes):

1. “That man who is angry, who has enmity, is bad, and insolent, who has wrong views, and is deceitful, he one should know as an outcaste.

2. Whether once born, or twice born, he who is violent to creatures here, who has no sympathy with creatures, he one should know as an outcaste.

3. He who beseiges and destroys villages and market towns, who is well known as an oppressor, he one should know as an outcaste.

4. (He who), whether in the village or the wilderness, takes by theft what is not given, those things loved by others, he one should know as an outcaste.

5. He who has taken on a debt, and when pressed (to pay it) runs away, saying: “There is no debt due to you,” he one should know as an outcaste.

6. He who desiring a trifle, after slaying a person going along the path, takes that trifle, he one should know as an outcaste.

7. That man who, for his own sake, for the sake of others, or for wealth, when asked to bear witness, speaks falsely, he one should know as an outcaste.

8. He who is seen (misbehaving) with the wives of friends or relatives, whether forcibly, or with consent, he one should know as an outcaste.

. . .

21. Na jaccā vasalo hoti, na jaccā hoti brāhmaṇo,
One is not an outcaste by birth, by birth one is not a brahmin,

kammanā vasalo hoti kammanā hoti brāhmaṇo.
by deeds one becomes an outcaste, one becomes a brahmin by deeds.

and in another place, describing the loss of caste of those gone forth in the Saṅgha he said:

Just as, monks, whatever great rivers there are, that is to say: The Gaṅgā, the Yamunā, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, and the Mahī, having arrived at the great ocean, give up their former lineages and names, and are then designated as the great ocean, so, monks, there are these four classes: Khattiyas, Brāhmaṇas, Vessas, and Suddas, who, having gone forth from the home to homelessness in the Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, give up their former lineages and names, and are then designated as Sakyan ascetics.


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3 comments to India Untouched – Stories of a People Apart

  • Visakha Kawasaki

    Noticeably absent is any consideration of Dalit Buddhism. Stalin K is a fine documentary film maker, but he himself is, I believe, a Christian, so Buddhism is unfortunately ignored.

  • Visakhaji nomo buddhay
    i agree with you & you 100% right about stalin. here in india the dalits(untouchable) are most oppressed people in all sphere of life. This is Bodhisattva Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar who has ensured contitutional safeguard in favour of them so that they can live self dignified life but due to braminical conspiracy and dalits indulgence in artificial fear of god/godess they still intact into bramanism. brahmana are most conspirator clan on this earth. the word hindu is a farsi word which mean “black, theif & slave” popularly coined by Mughal who has conquared india. they have given this word to those who were living beyond the river indus popularly known as sindhu. because in farsi there is no any “S” word so they started calling hindhu in place of sindhu. because this an abuse given by mughal to indian inhabitants intially these brahman prohited themselves to pronunciate as hindu, this can be seen in a book known as “SATYARTH PRAKASH” writted by Swami Dayananda Saraswati(available on, who him self was a brahman. he has established an organisation known as ARYA SAMAJ. when people ask him why you are calling this organisation as arya samaj why not call it hindu samaj he replied them saying above meaning. that is the reason all dalit hates brahmanism want to liberate themselve from that devine slavery.but brahman again conspire against them they also infiltrate into possible options like christianity. make all discriminatery corrections there slowly but steadly. in my view brahman can only survive in a religion of god that is the reason most of missionary & follower of DR BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR they never believe that LORD BUDDHA was a god. for extracting the oppressed people from hindu fold we must kill god theory but because people are well sattled with god and his miserable teachings people starts scaring unable to liberate themselves from devine slavely. work is going on we deserve some supports from foreign country in this regards. mass scale attempt has been lounched against this by DR AMBEDKAR that is reason he has been assasinated. i hope you will understand me.

  • Paul S.

    To Dr Binod Nagalyayan,

    I, too, abhor caste behavior of any sort. If there ever was a man to emulate, it was certainly Dr. Ambedkar. However, I must point out that Dr. Ambedkar died in his bed of diabetes, not of assination. ( (Perhaps you were referring to “character assasination”.) All the best to you, sir.

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