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Untouchability: Daily Metta

Michael Nagler Posted by Michael Nagler.

Michael is founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the author of Our Spiritual Crisis and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into several languages.


Untouchability: Daily Metta

The removal of untouchability is one of the highest expressions of ahimsa. ~ Gandhi, Mahatma 4:239

Gandhi, like Jesus and Buddha before him, felt that animal sacrifice and the human pattern it encoded, scapegoating, was the most violent and dangerous social institution. Do we not call the destruction of the Jews in Europe the “Holocaust” (a type of sacrifice)? Removal of untouchability would mean the elimination of “high and low” that we spoke of last time (see the Daily Metta from Friday, April 8). Untouchability is perhaps the form of structural violence that is most destructive to the human spirit. Its removal from Indian society was a sine qua non for India to offer honest, and therefore effective, nonviolent resistance to others, e.g. the British Raj.

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About Daily Metta

Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.

Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.

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