Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An Untouchable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. belongs to lowest social and ritual class in India

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Sanskrit harijanaḥ, person of Hari, child of God (coined as a euphemism for Untouchable by Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1931) : Hariḥ, Hari, a name for Vishnu; see Hare Krishna + janaḥ, person, child.

Examples

  • Mahatma Gandhi coined the word Harijan, which translates roughly as "Children of God," to identify the former Untouchables with greater dignity.

    Jim Luce: Touching the Untouchables in a Rural Indian Village

  • 36The term Harijan, meaning `people of God', was popularised by

    Archive 2006-06-01

  • "No further follow up action has been taken by the Ministry, discouraging or dissuading the use of the word Harijan," it added.

    The Times of India

  • He broke all traditions of the society; during the early sixties India was pretty much like the U.S. in the way she treated her "Harijan" -- God's chosen people as Mahatma Gandhi termed the "untouchables".

    Mike Ghouse: A Tribute To My Pluralist Father

  • He also proposed changing their name to Harijan, children of God today, they refer to themselves as the dalit, a Sanskrit word meaning crushed and downtrodden.

    Flushed

  • "As such, there is widespread use of the word 'Harijan' across the country, depreciating the status of the under-privileged sections of the society," Standing

    The Times of India

  • "From the action taken reply furnished by the ministry, the committee note that the ministry had issued a circular on February 10, 1982 ... to the state governments and Union Territory administrations requesting them to issue instruction to the concerned authorities not to use the word 'Harijan' in scheduled caste certificates," it said.

    The Times of India

  • NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary committee took serious note of the widespread use of the word 'Harijan' across the country and asked the government to strictly ensure its non-use, underlining that it was depreciating the status of the under-privileged sections of society.

    The Times of India

  • Ensure 'Harijan' word is not used: Govt told today took serious note of the widespread use of the word 'Harijan' across the country and asked the government to strictly ensure its non-use, underlining that it was depreciating the status

    WN.com - Photown News

  • Otis, who had come here to meet the Tibetan Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, said he has other personal items of Gandhiji like the original of the 'Harijan' journal edited by him and about

    NDTV News - Top Stories

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