Untouchable – The Proletariat

“Why aren’t the latrines clean, you rogue of a Bakha! There is not one fit to go near! I have walked all around! Do you know you are responsible for my piles? I caught the contagion sitting on one of those unclean latrines!” Untouchable, Anand (14).

The proletariat of Hindu society are those that belong to the lowest castes. The caste system is a more formalized version of what informal class systems are in the rest of the world, like the proletariat and bourgeouis. In the caste system, there is an element of cleanliness that marks your position in society. Those of the higher caste, like Havildar Charat Singh, are “clean” and therefore exempt from the dirty jobs that the lower caste performs. Meanwhile Bakha, belonging to the lower caste, is seen as dirty and unclean, therefore being relegated to jobs like cleaning latrines.