Vast literature on Caste system in India Essay

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There is a huge literature on Caste system in India with a long and diverse background. This chapter aims to reexamine some of the relevant literatures refering to the caste system predominating in India. Different writers might hold varied perceptual experiences about this peculiar subject for treatment.

Harmonizing to Louis Dumont ( 1980 ) in his book Homo Hierarchicus which has inside informations about the caste system and its deduction, demonstrates that Indian society was structured on a steadfast impression of hierarchy that was based on the relationship between the pure and the impure. It is more of a spiritual than a political or economic impression. He defines hierarchy as “ the rule by which the elements of a whole are ranked in relation to the whole, it being understood that in the bulk of societies it is faith which provides the position of the whole, and that the ranking will therefore be spiritual in nature ” ( Dumont, L.1980 ) . He besides points out the prevalence of traditional hierarchy which was based on ‘varnas ‘ or colorss whereby people were divided into four classs viz. Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras and ; Harijans are outside the categorization.

M.N.Srinivas ( 1962 ) in his book Caste in Modern India and Other Essays, highlights the “ portion played by caste in democratic procedures of modern India in disposal and instruction ” . The writer came across certain conflicting attitudes among the people of the elect category whereby one group wanted statute law to eliminate the societal immoralities refering to the caste system and on the other manus, there were people who were non merely determined non to contend the immorality but besides tried to rehearse this system. In his work he tries to explicate the constructs of two societal procedures viz. ‘Sanskritization ‘ and Westernization. Sankritization is ‘the portion of societal mobility every bit good as the parlance in which mobility expresses itself ‘ . This is said to happen within the model of caste whereas Westernization happens outside the model of caste. However, Sanskritisation may take to caste ‘s going unpopular with their neighbors whereby the leaders of upper or dominant caste may demo their resentment by even tormenting the members of the lower castes. In independent India, the reserves and precautions granted to the backwards subdivisions particularly the Scheduled Caste and Tribes have helped in the upliftment of the lower caste. He besides brings into notice the effects of British regulation on the caste system which in a manner helped in taking over the power antecedently exercised by the caste panchayets. A new rule of justness was introduced by the British which said “ all work forces are equal before the jurisprudence, and that the nature of a incorrect is non affected by the caste of a individual who is perpetrating it, or by the caste of the individual against whom it is committed ” ( M.N.Srinivas, 1962 ) . This has non been to the full followed in the rural countries where caste panchayets are still working strongly. The writer argues that the ‘Varna ‘ system has surely warped the caste but it has enabled ordinary folks to grok the caste system by supplying them with a simple and blunt system that is applicable to all parts of India. To the inquiry of can castes exists in the India of tomorrow the writer opines that merely a minority considers caste as an immorality to the whole state and that this minority is bit by bit increasing every twenty-four hours. Furthermore in rural countries it is possible to come across urbanised immature people who consider caste detrimental to healthy dealingss between people. He concludes by stating that nil else but the people themselves must understand that caste ‘necessarily means casteism and that benefits it offers are bought at a heavy monetary value for the state as a whole ‘ .

Taya.Zinkin ( 1962 ) in her book Caste Today describes the caste system in India. She considers its beginning, the manner it works, what democracy is making to caste and frailty versa. In her work she states that caste is non category and that every caste has educated and uneducated, rich and hapless, good born and ordinary Born. The writer besides says that caste is non dependent on coloring material because a Brahmin will non halt being a Brahmin if he is black skinned nor does an untouchable halt being one if he is just skinned. She besides argues that caste is non based on business, nevertheless assorted other literatures may non wholly hold to what this writer states. Harmonizing to her “ caste is a manner of life which divides society into little groups, each of which lives in a instead different manner from the remainder ” . Due to these differences, bantam groups and of import facets of life like matrimony take topographic point within them, these groups have immense control of power and therefore a better endurance. Before she goes into the inside informations of castes, sub- castes and untouchability she tries to explicate the construct of re- embodiment. It is said that the whole system is based upon a combination of position fixed by birth and metempsychosis. This means that a individual ‘s birth in the bing life depends on the effects of his workss done in past life i.e. if one performs his responsibilities good following with what he is supposed to make so he may be reborn in a better state of affairs or non be reborn at all. Marriage imposts vary with castes and sub-castes. Untouchables normally make late matrimonies unlike the Brahmans who make early arranged kid matrimonies. Finally Tan Zinkin ( 1962 ) negotiations about the beginnings of the dislocation and the loss of belief of the Hindu society. Change of attitudes among the castes and sub-castes were witnessed. “ More late, loss of belief has been the consequence, of the spread of instruction to the rural countries. With instruction came an arousing of new outlooks, which through much of the Indian peninsula produced a new non-Brahmanical leading, a leading which was non merely non- Brahmin but positively anti -Brahmin ” ( Tan Zinkin, 1962.pp38 ) .

Tan Zinkin has been reasonably much argumentative on the construct of caste. She strongly says what caste in non instead than what caste is. The theory about rhenium embodiment has helped me to cognize more about the birth and rebirth rhythm with respect to the caste system.

Marc Galanter ( 1963.pp 544-559 ) in his article Law and Caste in Modern India focuses on caste and Torahs refering to it during the British regulation in India. He describes the manner in which the legal regulations and ordinances affect the caste as an establishment. The legal position of caste is explained under three headers viz. personal jurisprudence, caste liberty and precedency and disablements. First being legal rights and duties of a individual which is determined by the individuality of the caste group to which he belongs. During the British period caste was small used for the happening of legal ordinance and moreover all castes irrespective of their ranks had to follow the same rights and responsibilities. However caste imposts varied when it came to jurisprudence of sequence, jurisprudence of acceptance and jurisprudence of matrimony. Marriages between different castes or Varnas were non allowed. Caste liberty conferred some right to the caste groups to implement certain regulations which were non disturbed by the authorities. Precedence and disablements dealt with the legal intercessions with respect to the dealingss between castes. Courts imposed certain regulations such as limitation on the entry of a peculiar caste into temples. This shows that even though the British did assist in cut downing the caste favoritism, on the other manus they ended up worsening it to a certain extent. The writer besides talks about the independent India where the higher castes have lost their laterality over legal affairs and moreover the lower ahs castes have acquired certain authorities benefits sing equality and other discriminatory interventions. Marc Galanter ( 1963 ) concludes this essay by stating that “ British period may be considered as a period of’Sanskritzation ‘ in legal impression of caste ” . ( 1963.pp559 )

“ Caste- based subjugation in India lives today in an environment apparently hostile to its presence: a nation-state that has long been labelled the “ universe ‘s Largest democracy, ” a progressive and protective fundamental law ; a system of Torahs designed to forbid and punish Acts of the Apostless of a favoritism on the footing of caste ; broad- based programmes of affirmatory action that include constitutionally mandated reserves or quotas for Dalits or so- called Untouchables ; and a aggressive economic liberalisation run to fuel India ‘s economic growing. ” Says Smitha Narula ( 2008 ) in her article Equal by Law, Unequal by Caste: The ‘Untouchable ‘ Condition in Critical Race Perspective. The writer negotiations about the caste system and the favoritism attached to it and the inequality witnessed in India today concentrating on the caste and gender- based favoritism and its impact on the Dalits of India.

Dr.Santosh Singh Anant ( 1972 ) in his work The Changing Concept of Caste in India enumerates the psychological facets of caste, inter- caste dealingss and of untouchability. He remarks on the theory of ‘status consistence ‘ and it is defined as “ the extent to which an person ‘s rank places on a given hierarchies are at a comparable degree ( Rush, 1967 ) . A Brahmin working as drudge in an office and an untouchable or anyone from the lower caste working as a senior officer would be an disposed illustration for position incompatibility. This is nevertheless go oning due to the spread of instruction. He brings in one of the several positions about the beginning of caste system which dates back to 1500 B.C with the coming of Aryans from Central Asia. Harmonizing to Nehru ( 1960 ) The Dravdians were the conquered race and Aryans the vanquishers. Since the Dravidians were advanced in their civilisation, Aryans considered them to be a possible menace to them. This is considered to be one of grounds why Aryans tried to force the Dravidians to an inferior place and therefore created the theory of four- Varnas or the caste system. The writer besides points out that socio-economic factors such as instruction, industrialisation, and increase in mobility have abated the rate of favoritism of caste system.

Sree Narayana Guru the Ascetic Who Changed the ‘Lunatic Asylum ‘ into God ‘s Own State is a life written by Murkot Ramunny about a saint who lived in Kerala province in the Southern portion of India. Narayana Guru was a philosopher every bit good as reformist who vastly contributed to the upliftment of lower castes in Kerala. He helped in conveying about freedom of supplication and instruction to 1000000s of under privileged in Kerala. It is due to his selfless service to the society that Kerala has attained 100 percent literacy rate compared to other provinces in India. The writer in his article informs us that, even the male parent of the state, Mahatma Gandhi paid him a visit and took inspiration from Guru for the societal Upliftment of the lower dramatis personaes or Harijans ( Untouchables ) . One caste one faith one God for adult male was his slogan. “ It is old ages since I left caste and faith. Even so some people are working on given that I belong to their community. As a consequence, a incorrect feeling has been created in the heads of the people. I do non belong to any caste or faith. In order that merely people who do non belong to any caste or faith should win me ” ( Narayana Guru, 1091 ) . This piece of literature has helped me in this thesis to cognize more about the caste system prevalent in the province of Kerala.

Harmonizing to Harsh Mandir, in his article Burning Baskets of Shame ( 2010 August 9.pp3 ) , he illustrates a existent incident of manual scavenging which had happened in India twosome of old ages back. The statistics shown by him in this article refering the figure of people making manual scavenging was about 6.4 lacs harmonizing to the Planning Commission in 1995. He describes about a run named ‘Safai Karmchari Andolan ‘ ( SKA ) which was started as a non-violent mass opposition to stop this horrid pattern of Manual Scavenging. This run was started by an person who himself was born into a scavenging household who witnessed this loathing pattern from his childhood. As reported by Harsh Mandir in this article SKA is the first motion to stop Untouchability in India. But it should be right to state that this was one of the many motions which had taken topographic point in different portion of India during different period.

In the article The Indian Caste System by Madhudvisa Dasa ( August 9, 2010 ) he tries to explicate the caste system in relation to what has been written in the ancient Bibles. He quotes certain thoughts from the Holy Book of Hindus, The Bhagavad Gita. The writer sheds some visible radiation on the’Vedas ‘ , which says that the Varnas or castes are non differentiated on the footing of birth but my mere making ( Guna ) and work ( karma ) . He assumes that the present caste system has degenerated to the extent that people consider work forces born in Brahmin households as a Brahmin even if he does non exhibit the qualities of a Brahmin. The writer agrees to the fact that one takes metempsychosis harmonizing to his past workss or ‘karma ‘ but at the same clip he says that in order to go a Brahmin equal preparation is required and that it is non conferred automatically by birth as seen in the present coevals.

India ‘s “ hidden apartheid ” ( UNESCO Courier, 2001.pp27-29 ) ; an article written by Gopal Guru and Shiraz Sidhva criticizes the abhorrent caste system in India. The article opens with a note which says “ India ‘s ancient caste system persists, subjecting 1000000s to degrading poorness and human rights maltreatments. Attitudes die hard, despite authorities statute laws to show in alteration. ” They comment on the caste system as a agency of deployment by the upper caste to stamp down the lower caste and therefore achieve a monopoly over the wealth, cognition, power and instruction. The extent of favoritism was huge that these so called Harijans were forced to utilize membranophones in order to denote their reaching so that the upper caste is non polluted even by their shadow falling on them. This article informs us that the term ‘untouchables ‘ was abolished in 1950 under the fundamental law of India but there still exists a glance of favoritism against them. India has nevertheless tried to cut down the favoritism by reserving quotas and reserves for the lower castes in instruction and for authorities occupations.

Caste in uncertainty: The Indian Census and Caste ( 2010.June 12, pp46 ) , an article which had been late published in ‘The Economist ‘ has inside informations about the reserves and quotas being introduced for the lower castes. This article besides brings into notice the issue associating to the inclusion of caste system in the nose count which is to be declared in the 10s annually plan in 2011. However this had been faced with unfavorable judgments because since 1931 India has non counted caste in the nose count. Furthermore it is impossible for it be included in the nose count because India ‘s caste system has non merely the four Varnas but besides assorted other sub-castes which may non be obviously recognised by the governments. In malice of certain obstructions, the economic growing of the state has contributed to the decrease of favoritism on the footing of caste because a figure of persons have moved from the stiff societal milieus to the urban towns and metropoliss in hunt of occupations where household background is irrelevant. “ Many Indians are going caste- blind and marrying across caste lines. Anidhrudda, a 20 twelvemonth old package applied scientist in Calcutta, says his inter-caste matrimony was no large trade. But even he concedes that there are bounds. If he had married a dalit, he says, ‘my household would non hold been able to confront the society ‘ ” ( The Economist, 2010.pp46 ) .

Leaderships: Untouchables and Unthinkable ; Indian Business ( The Economist.2007.pp17 ) is an article which highlights the point that says that Indian concern does non know apart against the Untouchables or lower castes. Furthermore, it condemns the pattern of reserve in private sector because it would damage the whole concern system. “ Responsibility for lower castes ‘ deficiency of promotion does non lie with the private sector. There is no grounds that companies discriminate against them. The existent perpetrator is authorities and the icky educational system it has created ” ( The Economist.2007.pp17 ) .It is non possible to hold reserves in Business like they have it educational systems. This article says that as people get richer their concern about the caste slices. Nowadays in-between category Indian households are to be seen get marrieding outside their caste than the rural hapless and less likely to purse their olfactory organ at a Dalit.

Harold A. Gould in his work The Adaptive Functions of Caste in Contemporary India ( 1963.pg427 ) informs us that caste has non to the full disappeared even with the coming of modern engineering and other societal structural alterations. His research found out that in rural countries, the being of caste in the signifier of ritual pureness, business, and system of hierarchy still exists in its ain manner. In modern-day India, nevertheless caste system has non disappeared wholly but has declined in the urban countries among the educated in-between category households.

From the above reappraisal of Literature and from assorted other dependable beginnings it can be understood that it is non possible to witness an India without a little facet of Caste system. This is because it has been profoundly rooted in the heads of Indians since ages and it still continues in certain domains of their life. Caste system has been a subject of great involvement to the Westerners as it fascinates them about the two ideologies- of caste system being of import and non being of import, bing within the same state and people. Recent articles from The Economist which are mentioned above, chiefly negotiations about the reserves and quotas based on caste instead than know aparting against them on the footing of ritual pureness and business. However it is non wholly true to state that caste system has vanished from the Indian society. “ Educated American indians know that caste exists, but they are ill-defined and troubled about what it means for them as members of the society that is a portion of the modern universe. No 1 can state that it is easy to give a clear and consistent history of the significance and significance of caste in India today ” ( Fuller.C.J, 1996.Caste Today.pp153 )

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