Article 17 of the Indian Constitution states that “Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offence punishable in accordance with the law.
It means is that no one can henceforth prevent Dalits from educating themselves, entering temples, using public facilities etc. It also means that it is wrong to practise untouchability and that this practice will not be tolerated by a democratic government. In fact, untouchability is a punishable crime now.
There are other sections in the Constitution that help to strengthen the argument against untouchability – for example, Article 15 of the Constitution notes that no citizen of India shall be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.