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see HarijansHarijans
[children of God], in India, individuals who are at the bottom of or outside the Hindu caste system. They were traditionally sweepers, washers of clothes, leatherworkers, and those whose occupation it was to kill animals.
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  1. in India, a member of a low CASTE (see HINDUISM) or ‘untouchable’group, thus subject to ritual and social exclusion.
  2. by analogy, any social outcast, or stigmatized individual or group.



a member of an untouchable caste in southern India, rather numerous in the state of Tamil Nadu. In the past it was virtually forbidden for pariahs to have social relations with members of higher castes. Because of the tyranny of the caste system, pariahs lived in separate settlements and were used by cooperative landowners mainly in land cultivation. They were often reduced to the level of serfs and slaves. Pariahs and other low castes in the Republic of India are struggling for social and legal equality and fair land distribution. In European languages “pariah” has come to mean an outcast.

References in periodicals archive ?
Getting a French marriage certificate may have saved both their lives: several months later, Hannah and Heinrich went from being pariahs together to becoming prisoners apart, and their marital papers would eventually be a ticket out.
Paradoxically, as bearers of a message of inclusiveness and authenticity, conscious pariahs remain marginal in relation to their own communities, whose parochialism they overcome; marginal in relation to the assimilated peers whose "disguises" they reject; and marginal in relation to a society whose insidious and ambiguous offers of assimilation they decline.
The book focuses on the question of their integration into the larger Parisian community and their gradual loss of the status of pariah within that urban society.
In ancient India, there existed a caste called the Pariah, which was at the bottom of the social ladder.
His view of Amerika or the fate of the pariahs or Verschollene,
It is a discourse that self-consciously considers how the idea of pariah and rejection style the self in being both nomadic and reflexive.
The NUT demonstrates why trade unions are pariahs politically.
Fuchs speculates that families which were entirely dependent on charities were "perhaps pariahs in the community" (14) or that obtaining a "certificate of indigence" from the police caused "shame" (105), but does not pursue the implications of such delineations of working-class respectability.
Widows such as Kathy Trant became national pariahs for going on spending sprees with their windfalls while others refused to take a penny because it was given on condition that they didn't sue the airlines or the World Trade Center.
"Accelerated" kids (the smart ones) were pariahs near the bottom of a social order that rose above us in elaborately orchestrated ranks and culminated in the distant grandeur of a few golden athletes.
Gay men with HIV are no longer sexual pariahs, and some of the treatments (testosterone replacement therapy among them) have even made some HIVers beefier than their seronegative peers.
Scottish football's Tartan Army have earned a glowing reputation around the world for their behaviour, while those from south of the border have become international pariahs.