Describe the life of untouchables in the ancient period.

The Brahmans developed a dividing wall that socially divided a section of people as untouchables. They were referred to as the Chandalas or Shudras, according to the Brahmanical norms. The Brahmanas secluded those people based on their work or occupations. The Brahmans were mainly connected with the performance of rituals or religious practices. They formed the uppermost section of the ancient Indian society. Then of course, were the Kshatriyas or the warrior class and the Vaishyas or the traders. These formed the upper classes. These people were considered pure and they generally avoided taking food from those designated as untouchables or chandalas or shudras in the society.

The lower classes were involved in activities works such as sweeping, cleaning, carrying heavy loads on their backs, handling human corpses or dead animals, etc. These people involved in such activities were called as chandalas or untouchables. They were placed at the bottom of the hierarchy. Not only touching them, but looking at them was also considered as polluting or making oneself impure by those who claimed the higher orders in the hierarchy. Manusmriti laid down the duties of the chandalas which further determined their status in the society.

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