Senior RSS leader Krishna Gopal Sharma has said that the practice of untouchability came to India after the advent of Islam, ANI has reported.
Gopal, who was speaking at a book launch, also said that the term 'dalit' was part of the British conspiracy to divide and rule India and Indians, and was not known before that.
He also termed the Islamic era as dark age and said that India could survive it owing to its deep spiritual roots. "No country has been able to survive Islam except Bharat. It is due to spirituality and sensibility we survived this dark age," he added.
ANI reported him saying, "The first example of untouchability is seen after Islam came. It is seen when at Raja Dahir's household his queens were on the way to commit Johar. They mentioned the word 'Malechcha' and said they need to hurry for the Johar, else the 'Malechcha' would touch them and they will become impure. This is the first example of untouchability in Indian text."
Gopal cited examples from the current social scenario and said the the usage of 'dalit' was rejected by the Constituent assembly.
He also said that there has been anger among the people of Scheduled Caste due to oppression, and the need of the hour was to discuss the thoughts of those people who have contributed towards correcting the wrongs.
He added, "Anger is there and it is very justified. But there are also those who spoke against it and tried to pacify this anger. Phule, Narayan Guru, Dr Hedgewar, Swami Dayanand, Madan Mohan Malviya, Mahatma Gandhi. We should now discuss them."
Popularly known as "Gopal ji", he reiterated Sangh's stand on having a casteless society, ANI said.