Letter: Let Gandhi cash aid untouchables

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Letter: Let Gandhi cash aid untouchables

Sir: Mahatma Gandhi's lost papers have been found and will be auctioned in London ("From fasting to freedom", 22 October). These have been valued at up to pounds 800,000 and it has been reported elsewhere that the proceeds will be used to build a Hindu temple.

Why Hindu temple? Was Mahatma religiously Hindu? Though he was not an atheist, nor was he a Hindu religiously. During his lifetime, did he ever spend any time to get a Hindu temple built? He was very much devoted to see that harijans (untouchables) were accepted as equal citizens. This task remains unfulfilled. Should not the money realised be spent wisely for this noble cause?

Those who are planning to build a Hindu temple should remember that untouchability was born and is continuing at the dawn of the 21st century thanks to one of the Hindu deities, Manu, who created the caste system. Gandhi tried very hard to abolish it. But this system is so deep-rooted that harijans, though they follow the Hindu religion, are not allowed to enter Hindu temples.

But those harijans who choose to be converted to Islam or Christianity immediately become touchable.

K P SHAH,

London NW3

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