- Initially, Congress had ignored the dalits for fear of offending the sanatanis, the conservative high-caste Hindus.
- But Mahatma Gandhi believed that swaraj would not come even after a hundred years if untouchability was not eliminated.
- He called them ‘Harijans’ and he himself cleaned toilets to dignify the work of sweepers.
- But many dalit leaders demanded reserved seats in educational institutions and a separate electorate.
- So dalit participation in the Civil Disobedience Movement was limited.