When a small piece of flesh from our body touches a touch me not branch, the leaves in that branch die and perishes. Perhaps, that is what gives it the name. No… not perhaps. Certainly that is what gives it the name. But, is this the theory behind the term ‘untouchables’ given to certain classes of people? Does it follow the same concept, that these people collapse on being ‘touched’? Or more accurately; literally, will the people touching them collapse and perish?
A recent visit to the district hospital at Palakkad, brought into limelight, how AIDS patients are still deprived from the society. They seem to be the new group of ‘untouchables’. A lady was deprived from drawing water from the public well, because she was tested positive for AIDS, because of her husband. Another AIDS positive human being; and I am stressing on the term human being because even they are human beings and deserve every right that every other normal human being enjoys, was deprived from medicines and treatment when he was ill because even the doctors and nurses were reluctant to go next to him. They even cut three of his fingers without providing him with an anesthesia.
Probably, even women form another category of ‘untouchables’. Maybe that is why they are ill-treated and treated unequal in the society. Probably, in this case, the term gives a different scenario. Probably, people get more satisfaction and are ‘blessed’ when they mistreat and use the women to the fullest and then throw them, ‘for good’, to die. I don’t know when people will realize that they need women to continue their family name, because God has not given the blessed opportunity to give birth to men. And I have mentioned this point because that is one of the reasons given for killing of unborn girls.
Only if people start thinking in a broader sense and think about people’s feelings and emotions, before mistreating them, will this evil curse leave us, for good, without apostrophes’. Before being Dalits, Hindus, Roman Catholics, women etc, we are all human beings. It is high time people realized it.