6 Myths India’s Untouchables Believe

1. I am less than human. Untouchables in India are considered so unworthy that they are not even part of India’s caste system. (This is where the word “outcast” comes from.)

2. My “fate” as an Untouchable has been determined by the gods. Untouchables believe that the gods cursed them with their low social standing. These people believe they are being punished for wrong actions in a previous life, which earned them bad karma.

3. Trying to change my life for the better is wrong. Many times, Untouchables are fearful of trying to better their lives—through education or a higher-paying job, for example—because this would hinder them accepting the full “punishment” from the gods they believe they deserve. In India, this duty to accept the status you are born with is known as dharma.

4. Non-Untouchables can be “contaminated” by drinking from the same cup as me. In many parts of India, Untouchables must smash any cups they drink from so no high caste Hindus will be “tainted” by accidentally drinking out of that same cup.

5. Even my shadow is unclean. Some high caste Indians will perform a cleansing ritual if they think they’ve even been touched by an Untouchable’s shadow.

6. I must improve my karma to please the gods. Untouchables accept their punishment in this life and do good works, desperately hoping they can earn the favor of the Hindu gods. If they succeed, they believe they will be born into a higher caste in their next lives.

Sadly, at this point, India’s Untouchables are unlikely to ever meet a Christian believer who can dispel these myths with the truth of the Gospel. (India is the most unreached nation on earth!) Most will never discover that they are made in the image of God and that He loves them.

So imagine how shocking and life-changing that truth is! As the Good News spreads into more unreached areas of India, we have seen over and over that Untouchables are among the most receptive audiences to the Gospel.

The truth of God’s love is transforming the way these precious people view themselves and their children.

That is why, at Mission India, we are so passionate about sharing the Good News—and shattering these myths.


Every year, many kids (and parents!) receive Jesus as their Savior through Children’s Bible Clubs in India. You can share the message of God’s love with more families by giving here.