The term 'Dalit' in India is mostly used to describe the peoples or communities that are subjected to untouchables. These peoples were excluded from the Indian four-fold varna system and thought of themselves as forming a fifth varna, describing them as panchama. India’s National Commissions for Scheduled Caste (NCSC), coined the term Scheduled Caste for Dalit and it is the official term. Gandhi ji refers to Dalits as 'Harijan', the people of God. They were engaged in menial polluting tasks like animal slaughter, leatherworking, scavenging, etc. They have had the lowest social status in the traditional Hindu caste system. Their economic conditions were very poor. They were suffered very badly from illness, malnutrition, and menace. Even today also the condition almost remains the same. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar who himself was belongs to Dalit started several Dalit movements for improvement of their socio-economic conditions. He thought that political power is the key factor for social progress and their Salvation. So he founded the Republican Party of India. This party had the aim to eradicate the socio-economic backwardness of Dalits and poorer classes and make them able to capture political power. Besides the RPI, another organisation namely Dalit Panthars organised literary activities, debates, and discussion in homes, offices, public places and attacked the traditional Hindu Caste System. They wanted to remove caste discrimination in India. The most successful political party in India regarding Dalits, is the Bahujan Samaj Party. The BSP aim to empower the majority sections of society or bahujan samaj - Dalit, Tribal, OBCs, and minorities. They organised several movements, rallies and programmes for the sake of power. They also form Government in Uttar Pradesh of their own. In this peper we discuss the condition of Dalits and their assertions for their freedom. In these way Dalit assertions through RPI, Dalit Panthars and BSP also discussed here.
Dalits, Harijan, Backwardness, Discrimination, Movements, Assertion.