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Related to Harijans: Dalits, May Fourth Movement


n. pl. Harijan or Har·i·jans
A Dalit.

[Sanskrit harijanaḥ, person of Hari, child of God (coined as a euphemism for Untouchable by Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1931) : Hariḥ, Hari, a name for Vishnu; see Hare Krishna + janaḥ, person, child; see genə- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Sociology) a member of certain classes in India, formerly considered inferior and untouchable. See scheduled castes
[Hindi, literally: man of God (so called by Mahatma Gandhi), from Hari god + jan man]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Harijan - belongs to lowest social and ritual class in India
castaway, outcast, pariah, Ishmael - a person who is rejected (from society or home)
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References in periodicals archive ?
"The Dalit community were treated unfairly and called Harijans at the same time.
Chapter 5 concerns Gandhi's attempt to persuade India that sweeping was the highest profession, and his failure to see that the Harijans ("children of God"), as he called untouchables, needed emancipation, not just a better image.