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He word Dalit evokes controversies. Many scholars defined the word in different ways. The word Dalit is used for the untouchables, ill-treated and humiliated castes. A touchable is one who is culturally, socially, economically and politically suppressed and exploited in the name of religion.
In India there are approx 240 million dalits, ie. 25% of the population is Dalit.
Dalits have different names in different parts of our country. They are called as Holaya, Panchama, Chandala, Samagara, Chammar, Adikarnataka, and Adidravida etc.There are about 150 castes in Karnataka as per the list of Constitution of India.Dalits are not a homogeneous group, they have a number of divisions among them. It is probable that these internal divisions made their contribution being unable to voice their problems effectively.