or Pariahs. The lowest class of the Hindu population, below the four castes. Literally drummers, from parai, a large drum.
“The lodgers overhead may perhaps be able to take a more comprehensive view of public questions; but they are political Helots, they are the Pariahs of our constitutional Brahminism.” —The Times, March 20, 1867.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894