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81. Who Are The "Unclean" ?

Mahatma Gandhi wrote the following letter in reply to the 'open letter' sent to him by Shri Tathachariar, son-in-law of the Ex-President of the Indian National Congress, Shri C. Vijayaraghavachariar of Salem. In this 'open letter' Shri Tathachariar had stressed the need for the 'purification' of the Harijans before they could be granted entry into the temples:

"Dear Friend,

What you have marked as an 'open letter' has been duly received by me. I confess that your argument does not appeal to me. I hold strongly the view that it is the caste Hindus who have to undergo purification and do penance and not the Harijans, as even for their outward cleanliness the caste Hindus are responsible. Internally, we do not know who is unclean, but we can infer from our past experience that the privileged and powerful are more unclean at heart than the down trodden and despised.

Yours sincerely,

M. K. Gandhi”