Caste System

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Caste System


There are many views regarding the creation of the word ‘caste’. The classical country of caste is India. If seen in context, the word ‘caste’ in Hindi is derived from the root ‘jana’ of Sanskrit language, which means ‘to arise’ or ‘to generate’. In this way, the things having the same quality-religion by birth are called a caste. From this point of view, caste exists not only in human beings, but also in plants and inert matter. According to another belief, the Portuguese were the first among the Europeans to use the word Caste which is derived from the Portuguese word Castra which means ‘lineage’ or ‘breed’. The word ‘cast’ is also closely related to the Latin word castus ‘castus’ which means ‘pure’ or ‘unmixed’. In this way, from the point of view of word derivation, caste expresses such a class whose foundation is descent or race, purity or immiscibility, which is completely based on heredity. It is clear that a society is affected by this (caste) system, if this society is divided into a number of conflicting groups, genetically specialized and stratified, if, in principle, it (system) does not accept new individuals. does not accept blood-mixing or change of professions. Many scholars have considered caste or varna as synonymous with each other, but in reality it is not suitable. Although caste originated through the caste system, there are enough mentions of this.


Caste: Functions or Merits

Caste system has played a very important role in the protection and development of the Indian society, however, in the process of thousands of years of development, today this system has become such a box of faults, which is the demand of the present era to throw it away. Legal and administrative efforts alone will not be enough in this direction. As long as the feeling of hatred against caste-system does not grow among the Hindu people through educational development and other measures, this corrupt system will not allow our society and nation to unite. When we talk about the benefits of caste system, we mostly mean its ideal nature and form. The notable works by which the caste system has become an object of praise are mainly the following

Personal discipline and protection of honor – The rules of caste keep the individual under discipline and prevent him from doing undesirable and anti-social activities. The undesirable person is ostracized from the caste. In this way caste acts as a social control.

Mental security of the members – The caste system provides mental security to its members. Collective spirit is very influential in every caste. Caste helps man in difficult situations. On the basis of the collective power of the caste, a person experiences mental security. Caste assigns social status to each individual. One does not have to suffer any mental distress as everything is pre-decided for him. He does not have to get into psychological trouble to decide the path, the ultimate religion is achieved only by walking on the certain path.

Cooperation in the group – caste-bond has bound a particular group in the thread of unity. Individuals in a particular caste group consider themselves safe and consider it their duty to be helpful to each other. Caste unity has saved people from many troubles and has given attention to many welfare works like child welfare, management of caste scholarships, caste dharamshalas etc.

Keeping occupational specialties a secret – In ancient times, the caste used to adopt a certain occupation only and was considered expert in it. No caste used to reveal its business secrets to other castes. The members of the caste had to compulsorily keep business secrets secret. The caste does not want the transfer of its special skills to other castes. Along with that, the caste continued to provide training of its special occupation free of cost to its asanas on the basis of natural environment.

Determining social status – Under the caste-system, a certain social status is determined for a particular community, whose status is ensured in the spread stratification. It is clear from all these functions of caste that the caste system is not acceptable as its model. Unfortunately, all these benefits of the caste system have become a thing of the past. The caste system created with good intentions is in front of us today in a very disgusting form. People have made so many defects in the caste system that we want to abolish it. Doctor . In the words of Radhakrishnan, “Unfortunately, the same caste system which was developed as a means of saving the social organization from destruction, is today becoming an obstacle to its progress.”


Protection of society, civilization and culture – Caste system has protected Hindu society and Hindu culture. Even after many political upheavals, wars and revolutions, the Hindu society remained safe because of the caste system and the four major parts of the Hindu caste – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras – remained distinct cultural elements. This practice always opposed the change of religion and in this way, the rules and regulations of food-drink, living-tolerance, dress, marriage-system and other rites were maintained among the castes.

Be protected The caste system kept the social tradition alive. Foreign invaders won India’s body but they could not win her mind. The caste system did an important job of binding the diverse communities of the Hindu society together. In the words of Farniwal, “The caste system in India has provided a condition to the society in which any community, whether racial or social or occupational or religious, maintains its distinct character and separate entity. According to Joad, the caste system in its best form was the most successful attempt to bring together different ideas, different classes of this vast country in one session.

Caste system worked as a branch of political system – in ancient times when there was absence of states like Praj, then due to caste system all the people of the society performed their duties and remained disciplined. In this way, at that time, castes were only in the form of branches of the political system, which gave rise to the belief in the democratic system in the society.

Simple labor-division system in the society – Hutton has written that it is because of the caste-system that all the works of the Indian society, whether in the private sector or in the government sector, run smoothly and people do their work on the basis of religious belief or belief. Do it on the basis of ‘karma’. The caste members follow this and people perform their actions on the basis of religious belief or ‘karma concept’. The members of the caste assume that as a result of the deeds of their previous births, they have to take birth in a particular family and perform a particular task in this life. Because of this belief of theirs, they do not hesitate to do even the dirty work and often do not think of rebelling against their position in the society. As a result, not only does a person get rid of mental conflict and despair, but social unity and peace also remain. Due to the implementation of the principle of division of labor in the caste system, each caste acquires skill in its special work. Even though the importance of this work has decreased today, but due to the distribution of work in the past, the efficiency of work and business could be increased on a caste basis. Big unions were formed on the basis of caste system, with the help of which good production was done. Those unions used to protect their brothers from outside competition.

The intelligence of work, maintaining knowledge and progress – Because of the caste system, business intelligence was easily reached from one generation to another. Before the progress of one generation goes waste, the next generation gets that progress. The son of a carpenter became a skilled carpenter and the son of a weaver became a skilled weaver. In this way, when there was no other means of safeguarding the growing knowledge, then the caste system took care of this knowledge and progress. Kept doing

Maintaining the purity of inbreeding – According to Sijbik, the purity of inbreeding does not remain as a result of the end marriage system found in the caste system. But it is difficult to agree with this view because marriages of different castes lead to heredity related defects. Doctor . A silent function of the caste system has been mentioned by Mazumdar and Madan. As a result of end marriage, the marriage of boys is more than that of girls. In this way, due to the caste system, people get peace of mind. Boys perform the responsibility of maintaining the continuity of the family and completing religious rituals like tarpan, pind daan etc.

Birth of high quality civic qualities – caste system gave rise to the feeling of brotherhood and harmony. People of one caste participate in bread, daughter and hookah-water and help each other when needed. They consider the evil of caste as their own evil. In this way, the lofty ideas of love, service, sacrifice and democracy were strengthened by the caste system.

Demerits of Caste System

Rights, initiatives and important works are not encouraged due to the caste system – In the caste system, most of the people get the idea that their social status is fixed by birth and no matter how hard they work, they can progress. It’s hard to be Due to the caste system, Hindus did not pay attention to various discoveries and important rights because in their view, doing so was against caste-religion and rules.

(Diminishing Hindu society – The caste system has spread such a web of untouchability, discrimination and harsh restrictions that a large number of Hindus have become Muslims and Christians. Finding the doors of equality closed in their society, they are attracted to other religions. There was no choice but to leave the Hindu religion for the casteless people. The rigid caste system made about 30-35 percent of the Hindus of India heretics.

Cause of many social problems – Child-marriage, widow-marriage, elite-marriage, groom-marriage etc. many problems have arisen due to caste-system. In the end, we would like to say that as a result of the caste-system, many disruptive elements have been active in the country from time to time and due to these tendencies, the country has had bitter experiences many times. We lost our freedom because of caste division.

Couldn’t even protect. Now we have a nation. India is one nation from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Assam to Gujarat. Only the feeling of one nation and one nationality can take us forward, only then we can stand on our feet, only then we can give a befitting reply to our enemies, only then we can safeguard the independence of the country and only then we can be so strong and May be able to fight for justice in the world and counteract injustice. Our invaluable nationalism is in great danger from casteism. No matter how useful caste-caste was in ancient times, but today we should not be fascinated with it by being under any emotion. The caste system has become so corrupted that it is better to abandon it, but only abandonment of this practice is not the panacea for our problems and losses. It cannot be accepted that simply giving up the caste system will remove the defects found in our social structure. For this, we have to re-think every aspect of personal and social life, adopt reformative approach in every field and re-evaluate the entire social structure.

Deterioration of national unity – The caste system has proved painful and destructive for the society and the nation. Due to this, instead of national pride, caste pride was generated in our country. Due to caste-distinction, the opposing invaders could not be fought firmly. Due to its social strength and unity being divided into many small sections of the society, the Sikhs demanded their own separate Sikhistan, while the people of Maharashtra demanded Maharashtra and the Gujaratis separately.

Obstruction in the basic and intellectual progress of the society – due to caste-system, the opportunities for economic and intellectual progress were available only to the high-born people and the Shudras remained deprived of it. This is the reason that the children of the backward and low-caste sections of the society never got the facility of study and their talented and capable children could not find in the light. In this way, this practice hurt the foundation of the society and its level.

Development of high-low, love-hatred, communalism and anti-democratic feelings – – Caste-system is basically undemocratic. Instead of equality, it encourages inequality. Due to this the society has been divided into high and low and the basis of this high and low is birth and not karma or merit. Due to this high-low, a large part of the society has never been able to progress educationally, economically or socially. The caste system itself gave rise to communalism and untouchability. Due to this communalism, first India remained in the clutches of foreign invaders and in the end it was divided into two pieces. The caste-system of untouchability brought about the Harijan problem and this caste-system kindled the fierce flame of non-cooperation and hatred everywhere.

Bad influence on politics – caste-system mostly worked to make the political future of independent India dirty and foggy. The history of independent India is a witness that Indian voters think a lot on political problems from an ethnic point of view. Even at the time of government-formation, caste is not considered secondary because the majority party has caste-related mite. Many times administrative decisions are taken on the basis of caste. In place of ‘State of the people, by the people and for the people’, it has become ‘State of the caste, by the caste and for the caste’ in many respects. Popular government has become a new medium of caste competition. The rival castes have taken membership of different political parties and have formed different factions within the parties. The poison tree of casteism in politics is definitely very dangerous for the democratic future of the country.

Due to the caste-system, the country’s military power suffered a big setback because the work of the castes belonging to the same clan was considered to protect the country, due to which the other castes were alienated from here.

Increase in superstition and conservatism – Caste rules, bye-laws and various religious rituals and customs greatly encouraged superstition and conservatism in the society. Due to this the person’s own freedom got frustrated and he had to live according to caste restrictions and rules.

All the primary resources of the society cannot be fully taken advantage of by the caste system – due to the caste system, the profession of each caste is certain. It is not considered right for a person to adopt a profession outside his caste. A caste person can neither leave the industry of his caste nor can change the means of earning his livelihood. Therefore, due to the caste system, all the primary resources of the country cannot be taken full advantage of.

Caste system is the enemy of women’s rights – The caste system is the enemy of women’s rights. The misery of women in our society is the result of this system to a great extent. This practice does not give any freedom to women in matters of marriage and does not consider them equal to men in other areas also.

Exploitation of poor and low-caste people – Discontent spreads due to the exploitation of poor and low-caste people by this practice. With this practice, the rights of those people are taken away and their wishes are suppressed.

False pride is born – caste-practice creates a sense of self-respect and pride in the upper caste people and in this practice hard work

are not treated equally.



Regarding the concept or definition of caste, it can be said that it is mainly a lesson of people whose membership is based on heredity. It gets a certain place in caste-stratification. A caste is not a community or society itself, but a group of community or society whose society has a predetermined place and it is related to a certain occupation. Some important definitions are as follows
Herbert Risley, while giving the definition of caste, wrote, “A caste is a collection of families or groups of families bearing a common name, which trace their lineage from an imaginary ancestor, who may be a human or a deity.” claims origin, carries on the same ancestral occupation and is regarded as a homogeneous community by those who are entitled to make such decisions or votes. This definition makes 5 things clear – (i (i) a caste is a collective organization of several families, (ii) it has a name, (iii) each caste has an imaginary ancestor, (iv) it has a definite occupation and (v) it exists as a homogeneous community. Is known .
According to Majumdar and Madan (D. N. Majumdar and T. N. Madan), “caste is a closed class. It is clear from this definition that caste is based on birth. One has to live till the end. Membership of caste cannot be changed in any case. In this sense, caste is a closed class.
Dutta (N. K. Dutta) has written defining caste by including the maximum characteristics of caste, “Caste is a type of social group, whose members do not marry outside their caste, restriction on food, profession, are certain, stratigraphic division is found, change from one caste to another is not possible. This definition reveals 6 characteristics of caste – (i) caste is a social group, (ii) caste is endogamous group, (iii) there are restrictions on food and drink in caste, (iv) occupation of caste is fixed, (v) stratification is found in castes and (vi) membership of caste is not possible to change. Based on the above facts, it can be said that there is a dynamic system of caste stratification which is based on birth and imposes restrictions on food, marriage, profession etc.

Characteristics of Caste

G. S. Ghuryehas discussed 6 characteristics of caste, on the basis of which it has been said to be more useful to understand caste. These features are as follows
Segmental Division of Society: The caste system divides the society into certain segments. The position, position and work of the members of each section is determined by birth. And they have a sense of community. Following caste rules is a moral duty.
Hierarchy: Under the caste-system, the status of each caste is a dance of searching for each other. At the top of this stratum are the Brahmins and the lowest are the untouchable castes. These two people are of no caste. Not only this . There are many sub-castes within a caste and there is a distinction between high and low.
Hereditary Nature of Occupation: The occupation of a person is determined on the basis of caste-occupation. Therefore, the caste in which a person is born, he has to adopt the personality of that caste. There is no scope for any change in it. Thus it can be said that the main feature of caste is traditional occupation.
Endogamous: According to the caste system, the members of the caste can establish marriage relations within their own caste or sub-caste. Almost no one dares to violate this rule. Westermark has considered the specialty as the ‘essence of the caste system’. The endogamous rule is still found in castes. Thus, on the basis of above description, it becomes clear that caste system has been a clear and important basis of social stratification in Indian society.
Restrictions on Fooding and Social IntereCHISE: There are restrictions related to food-drinking, social interaction and social interaction in the caste system. Often people of one caste do not accept food from the hands of lower castes. Along with this, many restrictions related to raw and pucca food are observed. Similarly, the feeling of untouchability is found in the context of social contact and interaction.
Social and Religious Disabilities: Special differences are seen in the caste-system among the poplars. On the one hand, as many facilities and rights are available to the higher castes in the areas of life, the lower castes do not have that much. Brahmin is full of many rights in social, religious, economic and other fields. On the other hand, untouchable castes are deprived of even public facilities and rights. Even in rural areas its glimpse is seen.


A group of people who have the same social status. Many situations are found in every society. As a result, many classes are also found according to them. When society is divided into different groups on the basis of some other than birth, each group is called a class.

Some important definitions are as follows
Maclver and Page have defined class as, ‘Social class is that part of the community which is separated from the rest on the basis of social status. It is clear from this definition that the basis of class is social status. That is, people of the same status form a class which is different from other classes.
In the words of Ginsberg, “Class can be called such a group of persons who are similar on the basis of occupation, wealth, education, lifestyle, thoughts, feelings, attitude and behavior or on one or two of these grounds.” But they should have the consciousness of equality which makes them aware of their own group or class.” Three things are clear from this definition that class is a group of persons, (ii) There are many bases of class formation – business, money, education. , life-style and attitude etc. and (iii) class consciousness, which is called class consciousness.
Mavers and Engels have written, “The coming together of different individuals forms a class only when they struggle as one class against another class, otherwise they, being mutual competitors, are opposed to a single ideology.” Or remain enemies. “It is clear from this definition that the basis of class is struggle. That is, it cannot be imagined without struggle. This struggle happens on the basis of economic interests. On the basis of the above definitions, it can be said that – It is a group which is based on social elements and which has the qualities of class-consciousness.

Characteristics of Class

Definite Hierarchy – Social classes are divided into certain categories. Some of these categories are high and some are low. Those who are members of the upper class have the least number of members but have the highest prestige. On the contrary, those who are members of the lower class, their number of members is more, but their importance and respect is the least. It is a natural consequence of this type of situation that the members of the upper class often take pride in staying away from the members of the lower class. In other words, social distancing is encouraged.

Achieved System: The basis of class is karma. A person can be rich or poor, industrialist or laborer, expert, professor, doctor, engineer or farmer on the basis of his karma. According to that his class is formed. This is how class is acquired. A person gets it through his own efforts.
Class Conflict: This feature has been mentioned by Marx. Marx says that the struggle between classes is the only element, which makes sense of the existence of classes in the society. Class cannot be imagined without struggle and this struggle takes place on the basis of economic interests. Thus, on the basis of the concept and characteristics of class, it is clear that class is a prevalent basis of social stratification.
Hierarchy: One of the main features of the class is called ‘hierarchy’. This means that there is a hierarchy of classes in the society in which there are several classes from the highest to the lowest. The stratification of high and low is clearly seen in these classes. According to this stratification, difference is seen in position, prestige and facilities.
Feeling of Superiority – Inferiority: The feeling of superiority and inferiority is seen in classes. Members of one class have a feeling of superiority or inferiority towards the members of other classes. For example, this feeling towards each other is clearly seen between the rich class and the poor class.

Common Life – Members of different sections of the society live their lives in their own special way. The way of living of the rich class is different from the middle class and lower class. The rich class takes pride in spending more and more. The middle class is often stuck in the customs and practices and the way of the lower class is completely different from both of these.

Importance of Economic Basis Economic status is the most important task of class formation. Modern society is capitalist or technological. In these societies, gender, age, etc. do not have a special relationship with class membership. Economically, prosperity or inferiority divides people into upper class, middle and lower class.

Openness and Shifting – Classes are open in nature. It means that if a person is specially qualified or skilled, then he can take membership of any class or can be a member of many classes simultaneously on different bases. Reflecting this position, Bottomore wrote that “whether social classes are relatively free or not, their basis is unquestionably economic, but they are more than economic groups.” It is also normal for social classes to fluctuate. Any poor person can join the rich class by becoming financially prosperous. Similarly, if the economic condition of a rich person falls completely, then he can slip from that class and go to the middle or lower class. This change in class status automatically happens according to the economic status.

Ajit Membership (Achieved Members)

It is clear from the above mentioned fourth and fifth characteristics of social class that the membership of the class depends not only on birth but also on ability, skill and economic prosperity.
hip) It is clear from the above mentioned fourth and fifth characteristics of social class that the membership of the class depends not only on birth but also on ability, skill and economic prosperity.
कूल्हे) सामाजिक वर्ग की उपर्युक्त चौथी और पाँचवीं विशेषताओं से स्पष्ट है कि वर्ग की सदस्यता केवल जन्म पर ही नहीं बल्कि क्षमता, कौशल और आर्थिक समृद्धि पर भी निर्भर करती है।
hip) It is clear from the above mentioned fourth and fifth characteristics of social class that the membership of the class depends not only on birth but also on competence, skill and economic prosperity.
हिप) सामाजिक वर्ग की उपर्युक्त चौथी और पाँचवीं विशेषताओं से यह स्पष्ट है कि वर्ग की सदस्यता न केवल जन्म पर निर्भर करती है बल्कि योग्यता, कौशल और आर्थिक समृद्धि पर भी निर्भर करती है।
One has to strive for the membership of the class. If a person belongs to a lower class, he has to prove his worth to enter the higher class. Permanently a person is able to live in the same class according to which he has merit.

Essentiality of Classes – The presence of classes in the society is essential. All people are not equal in terms of ability, functionality, interest, intelligence etc. So it is natural that individuals should Get position and respect according to merit. Only then can the social order be sustained. Classless society has been imagined in Marxism. But it is certain that such a society can never be established. ,

Less Stability – Money, education, business are of provincial and temporary nature, so the class-system based on them is also a stable concept. One who is rich today may be poor tomorrow.

Sub-classes – There are sub-classes under each class in the social class. For example, potti-varga on the basis of right over money in the rich class. Lakhpati-class Many sub-classes etc. Various sub-classes are found.

Life Chances – Max Weber has pointed out a characteristic of class called ‘Life Chance’. Accordingly, “We can call a group a class when its members have some specific opportunities of life in common.”

Class-Situation: Max Weaver has also drawn attention to this feature, which is related to life opportunity. The presence or absence of property in the possession of a class gives rise to a specific situation in which the class resides. If the members of the class have property, then naturally they will get opportunities to earn more money, buy more and maintain a higher standard of living etc. Combined, these opportunities will constitute the typical environment in which the members of that class must live. This is the Class Situation.

Common Life Style: Commonality is seen in the life style of the members of a class which on the other hand is also different from other classes. There is mostly similarity in the clothes, food habits, form of house, living conditions and manners of people of a class. Along with this, the family and matrimonial relations of the members of a class are also limited to their class-groups.

Class-Consciousness: Class-consciousness is the basic characteristic of class. This means that the members of each class have a sense of how their socio-economic-political position and prestige are in comparison to other classes. This is the feeling that binds the members of a class together.
Restricted Social Relations: The social relations of the members of a class are usually limited to their own class. Their eating-drinking, getting up-sitting and other interactive relations are with the people of their class. Also, they maintain a certain social distance from other classes. This is the limitation of social relations, which is a special feature of class.
Mobility: A special feature of the class is mobility. It is not based on birth, but it is based on ability, ability, that is, action. As a result, a member of a lower class can join the upper class on the strength of his ability and ability. In the same way a person can go down to the lower class through failure. Thus there is emptiness in the nature of classes. ,





Distinction between Caste and Class

‘ (1) The caste system is a closed class while the class system is an open or free class. The social status in a caste is determined by birth and there is no opportunity to join any other caste. On the contrary, the inequalities of man are recognized in the class system. In this, a person is given equal opportunities for progress. A person can enter from one category to another on the basis of his merit.

Individual ability and ability are neglected in caste. The situation in class is just the opposite. On the strength of his ability, a person can reach the upper class of the society.
3. Caste is seen as a closed system of stratification and class as an open system. Generally, the nature of classes is understood to be open, but in reality each class prevents the member of lower class from coming into its class and generally establishes relations only with the members of its class. Practically, the policy of class-endmarriage is also adopted between different classes. This is the reason why some scholars have not accepted any fundamental distinction between caste and class. Nevertheless, it is certain that there are different concepts of caste and class in their nature, functions and prohibitions which can be understood as follows

4. Caste is a closed form of social stratification while class is open. No person except one caste can accept the membership of another caste. The rules of each caste are also different from other castes. opposite class membership

The door is open to all. A person can become a member of any class according to his wealth, ability, skill.

5. The basis of caste membership is birth. The caste in which a person is born once, remains a member of that caste for life. But the membership of the class is based on the actions and efforts of the individual and he can change his class by his ability.

6. A person does not have to try to get the membership of the caste, rather it is given by the society. This is the reason why there is stability in caste. On the other hand, the membership of the class is entirely the result of the individual’s personal efforts and with the change in these efforts, the membership of the class also changes.

, 7. Every caste has a certain occupation and it is the moral duty of the members of that caste to earn their livelihood through that. But in the class system, a member can choose any occupation according to his interest and means.

, 8. Every caste necessarily compels its members to establish marriage relations within their own caste. On the contrary, there is no fixed rule of this type in class. Despite this, members of a class try to establish marriage relations within their own class. 6. The basis of elevation in class is economic whereas the status of caste is determined by the society. The basis of formation of castes are many religious and cultural beliefs. From this point of view, caste is a system of many rules related to purity and impurity. The class-system does not include any kind of beliefs related to purity or impurity.

9. In the caste-system, the profession is decided by birth. In the class-system, there is freedom to choose an occupation according to one’s will. ,

10. Membership of a caste is innate. He gets it automatically from the society. In contrast, class membership is earned. A person can enter from one class to another by his own efforts.



Role of Caste in Social Control

Caste system is a unique system of Indian society. In fact, the whole society is bound in the hierarchy of castes and sub-castes. Each caste has its own philosophy and rituals towards life. This feature has made each caste a complete world in itself. From birth to death, a person spends his life in the context of the behavior patterns and rituals of the caste. He is born in a particular caste, grows up, marries, mostly follows the occupation of the caste and finally after his death is cremated by the members of the caste community. But this does not mean that each caste is independent in itself and has no relation with other castes. The reality is that castes are functionally bound to each other, dependent on each other and mutually follow relations of exchange by customs. Jajmani system is a vivid example of this. Thus, to a large extent, the structure of Indian society is a reflection of the interrelationships of castes. M 0 N 0 Srinivas, while discussing the Indian social structure, has clearly written that, “Caste guarantees the autonomy of the community and at the same time it relates that community with countless other communities. In this way, the social hierarchy is established. The importance of an institution like caste is obvious in a vast country like India. There has been a confluence of many different cultures here in the past and there has always been regional diversity here. On the one hand, the caste system maintained the autonomy of the caste-sub-caste, so the existence of this autonomy could be maintained only if its members followed the norms and values of caste-behaviour. Through socialization, the ideals and values of the caste are internalized in the new generation in such a way that they become a part of man’s thinking and he goes on following them naturally. The caste system plays its role as an instrument of social control in the following ways;

(1) Control through indoctrination: Indoctrination refers to the indoctrination of patterns of thought and patterns of belief into the minds of human beings. MacIver and Page have written that, “Under all conditions, this process is the most powerful of all regulatory influences.” The caste system takes the most support of theory-teaching. Right from the beginning of the child’s life the beliefs and behavior patterns of the caste are codified in such a way that he considers them his own behavior and goes on following them automatically. The practice of untouchability persisted because of the teaching itself and even the castes called untouchables did not raise their voice against it for a long time. This indirect and informal method of social control by caste

(2) Control through rituals and customs – The rituals related to the life-order of each caste are fixed. Similarly his Teej – T

The practices of Yohar, major deities and marriage etc. are also different. By following rituals and practices, a person becomes habituated to behave in a specific way. Habit has been called the second nature of man. Apart from this, there is also support of public opinion behind the practices. They are considered prestigious because the name of ancestors is associated with them. Through these rituals and practices, each caste controls the behavior of its members. Their violation or opposition becomes difficult. Caste endogamy rule has been the most prevalent. The bond of marrying within one’s caste has been so strong that even today people cannot easily dare to break it. Similarly, the rules of eating and drinking have also been a means of control.

(3) Control through religious beliefs related to caste – The basis of caste system in Hindu society has been religious. Irawati Karve, explaining the nature of caste, has written that two fundamental principles of Hindu religion have been the supporter of the caste system – the principle of Karma and the principle of reincarnation. These principles made caste a divine product. Every person takes birth in a particular caste according to his karma. By doing actions in this birth according to his caste, he can get rebirth in a higher caste or attain salvation. These beliefs of Hinduism strengthen the control of the caste system. No one simply dares to challenge that control. He knows that caste is the result of his own past deeds.

(4) Control through priestly class – Max Weber, while discussing the Hindu social system, has made it clear that the priestly class has had a big hand in maintaining the caste system. There clearly remained a class of Brahmins who were both watchmen for the castes and also their judges. He was not only the director of the customs and rites, but he also arranged for punishment and atonement for the violators. Therefore, this priestly class was also an indirect controller for the members of the caste.

(5) Control through caste panchayats – Every caste has a traditional caste panchayat. It was the most powerful agency of control by caste. The caste panchayat used to deal with matters related to marriage, succession and determination of mutual obligations. The post of Chaudhary or head of the caste was mostly hereditary. Even today caste panchayats are active. These panchayats had adequate sanctions to control the members. They could not only impose fines, but could also punish caste-boycott, the biggest weapon. The person who was thrown out of the caste, the behavior of roti-beti used to stop with him. Not only this, daily social interaction with him also stopped. This situation is called ‘shucking off the hookah-water’. Thus, the caste panchayat has been a clear agency of control.

(6) Control through caste associations – Caste associations also emerged in the modern era for the improvement and upliftment of caste. These are formal organizations of castes that protect the interests of their members. It has also been seen that many sub-castes are now forming a federation. Through the donations and donations given by the caste union members, they establish a fund through which propaganda is done for caste reform and production. The interests of the caste are furthered through organized politics. These caste associations control the behavior of their members. Members follow their orders because they know that it is in their interest to do so. Caste unions are the formal and modern means of control by the caste.

(7) Control through mass media – Castes have also started using modern means of mass communication to organize their members and create mutual cooperation among them. Often these mediums are used by caste unions. The glorious tradition of caste history is published. It is often seen in the lower castes that they link their origin to a high class or great man in very ancient times, analyze the reasons for their downfall and claim to regain the old prestige or highness. Caste-related monthly or fortnightly magazines are also brought out, in which matrimonial advertisements are also published. In this way, the behavior of the members of the caste is induced through the means of mass communication. Such means of social control by caste are indirect means.

Changing Patterns of Caste System

After the establishment of the British Empire in India, new social, economic and political conditions took birth. Industries developed during the British rule and the feudal system came to an end. Industrial and monetary economy developed progressively. Due to the development of means of transport and communication, where the process of internal and cultural integration started, the caste system also got adjusted in political integration. Due to the influence of egalitarian ideas of Christianity, high and low caste

difference became only a blank and useless ideal. One result of the contact and multifaceted development of the Christian society was that the economic, social and ideological ideas that provided the basis for the caste system also started changing, as a result of which the multifaceted basis of caste also started changing gradually. After the attainment of independence in India, revolutionary changes have taken place in the taboos, ideals and fundamentals of the caste system. In the Indian Constitution, special care has been taken to eradicate the caste system and efforts have been made to remove caste differences from every point of view. Article 18 of the Constitution states that, “The State shall effectively promote the welfare of the people by establishing and preserving a social order in which social, economic and political justice is secured to individuals by all the institutions of national life.” The biggest attack on the system has been done by the ‘Prevention of Untouchability Act’ of 1955 AD. Thus, significant changes have taken place in the caste system and are taking place. Its traditional form is changing completely. Although the caste system has been changing to some extent in every time and era, but this change of the present is completely changing its structure, prohibitions and attitudes. We can understand these changes on the following grounds

Changes in Caste Structure

In the modern era, the form and fundamental basis of caste system is changing. The structural changes in the caste system can be understood on the following grounds

(1) Change in the segmental division of the society – Indian caste system has been presenting segmental division of the society. On the basis of this, this country is being divided into many groups and sub-groups on the basis of high and low. But today this feature of the caste system has completely changed. Today the sentiments of a person are not limited to caste alone. The determination of his position, business and duty is no longer based on caste but on personal merit.

(2) Change in the supreme status of Brahmins Historical study of the entire caste system shows that Brahmins have dominated the caste structure. Their power has been paramount, as a result of which they have always had a monopoly in the political, economic, religious and social sectors of the society. But today we see that this form is changing because the highness and lowness of life is no longer based on caste.

(3) Change in caste stratification – The caste system divides the society into unequal sections. But today we find that the concept of stratification has also changed. Today, many castes and sub-castes are trying to elevate and uplift their respective groups. M. N. Srinivas has considered this process of caste upliftment in the Hindu society as a process of Sanskritization.

(4) Change in the status of untouchable castes – Untouchable castes were given the lowest position in the caste structure. They were considered antyaj and many types of disabilities were imposed on them. But now their social status has also changed. Now they are an equal rights group and their rights in the social, economic and religious fields are at par with the rights of Savan. These modern ideas are also against the caste structure. From this point of view also there has been a change in the caste structure. Today all castes have started demanding equal rights from every point of view. Thus, there has been a radical change in the system of caste stratification which was there earlier. The most important change in this has happened in the condition of the untouchables and its effect has been felt on all castes and sub-castes.

Changes in Caste Restrictions

In the modern era, apart from the caste structure, changes are also seen in the field of caste prohibitions (which are the product of the caste system). The major negative changes can be understood as follows

(1) Changes in Marital Restrictions – Being an endogamous system, the caste imposes many types of restrictions on its members in relation to marriage. Mainly, each caste instructs its members to marry within their own caste and sub-caste. Apart from this, there have also been prohibitions of noble marriage, widow remarriage, Sapravara, Sagotra and Sapinda marriage. But in today’s era the matrimonial beliefs have completely changed and the above caste prohibitions are no more effective.

(2) Changes in the restrictions of social cohabitation – The traditional caste system also imposes restrictions on the members of its caste group on food and social cohabitation. But in today’s era these prohibitions have completely ended. The individual lives in large cities and his social relations are today directed more by his work than by his caste.

(3) Changes in profession-related prohibitions – One of the prohibitions in caste prohibitions has also been in relation to the choice of profession. Traditionally, a person did not have the freedom to choose an occupation outside his caste occupation. In today’s era, this basis of caste prohibition is also ending completely. Irrespective of caste, all the people in the urban society have started choosing business on the basis of their personal ability.

(4) Changes in prohibitions related to social and religious disabilities

The most important of the prohibitions have been the religious and social disabilities associated with the lower castes. Among the prohibitive changes that have taken place in today’s era, their end is noteworthy. Due to the efforts of Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian freedom struggle, these disabilities were almost eliminated and today the lower classes have also got equal opportunity for social upliftment. Now people of all castes have got the right to enter and use equally in religious, economic, social fields. Such forces are constantly active in urban societies which are making these prohibitions weak.

Changes in Caste Attitudes

Along with the changes in the structure and prohibitions, the attitude of the caste system which had gone into this society is also slowly changing. We attribute this change on the following grounds

1) Change in attitude regarding the high-low status of profession- In caste traditions, some statuses are set high and some are low level and people have been choosing professions from the caste point of view. This classification of professions has been related to the concept of purity and impurity of religion. People of low castes have been pursuing low professions and people of high castes have been pursuing high professions. But in today’s era, the notion of purity and impurity in relation to business has completely ended and the attitudes of the person related to the profession can also be seen changing.

(2) Change in the attitude related to the concept of birth – birth is important in the caste system. In today’s time, this notion of birth has changed. Today’s conscious, prudent and independent person considers the determination of reputation on the basis of birth as superstition and conservative thought. In today’s era, work and efficiency are more important, not birth. Thus, the fundamental basis of caste birth and its related attitude has been completely destroyed.

(3) Change in the attitude of the existence of caste – The caste system has been influencing and regulating the Indian society for centuries and the person has been accepting it naturally. Although even today the system of society is affected by it to some extent, but in today’s era, a person accepts caste existence only for the fulfillment of his political and economic interests and he is not able to accept it from his soul, that is, the existence of caste Approval has now remained only a means or medium. The educated and progressive class in the cities does not accept the fact that caste is a divine gift and one should act accordingly.

(d) Changes in the Cultural Aspect of Caste System If we look at the cultural aspect of the Indian caste system, we find that its basis is religious. The high-low profession within the caste, food restrictions, marital restrictions or the disabilities of the lower castes are all based on the idea of purity and on the basis of this belief, many interpretations of caste are possible. But in today’s era, we see that now this concept of purity is changing. Its basis is no longer religion, but its importance has been determined on personal effort, money, power etc. The meaning of saying is that in today’s era, the cultural aspect of the caste system is also changing completely. It is clear from the changes taking place in various aspects of the caste system that today the caste system has lost its traditional form and gradually its structural and institutional form is changing. Along with this, the economic importance of the caste system is also ending. Some scholars say that the class system is taking the place of caste.

Future of Caste System

What is the future of caste? Or is there any possibility of a casteless society in India? This is a question which is not easy to answer. On the basis of the changes taking place in the caste system, some scholars have expressed the opinion that the caste system has lost its original form and gradually its structural and cultural aspect is becoming loose, as a result of which the caste system has lost all its fundamental features. is getting lost Today economic and political bases are becoming more powerful bases of stratification than caste and some scholars have also started talking about the coming of class system in India in place of caste. But this argument cannot be accepted easily because it is also an illusion to think that such an old institution can be changed so easily. Not only this, many scholars consider caste to be helpful in democracy, national development and modernization and emphasize that caste is becoming stronger in Indian society than before. M 0 N 0 Srinivas (M.N. Srinivas) has written that, “It is a good matter of argument that there has been an increase in caste consciousness and organization in modern India. For example, look at caste banks, hostels, co-operative societies, dharamshalas, wedding halls, conferences and magazines in Indian cities. The increase in all these is a symbol of the fact that the caste is becoming stronger instead of dying. “K. M. Kapadia has also emphasized that there is a substantial and deep caste sentiment found in fifty-two per cent of the teachers (educated class) in India. Industrialization has certainly helped in changing its form but this even

Not getting According to T. B. Bottomore , ” . . . the effects of industrialization cannot be predicted and comparisons with Western countries can be misleading . . . because there are joint families And there is no caste system.” In fact, caste is a very ancient institution in Indian society with very deep roots. The proof of this is the existence of caste for thousands of years. Its confirmation by religion, illiteracy and the idea of karma and reincarnation have made it a strong institution even today. Therefore, it does not seem possible to create a casteless society by completely abolishing such an ancient and deep-rooted institution. In fact, the changes taking place in the caste system are like the changes taking place in any institution according to time and on the basis of these we cannot say that the caste system will end. In this context, M. N. Srinivas has rightly written that, “I want to tell you in clear words that, if you are thinking that we can easily get rid of caste, then you are making a serious mistake. . Caste is a very powerful institution and it will cause a lot of bloodshed before it is destroyed. ,


Is caste system changing into class system in India? Is Caste System Changing into Class System in India?

Caste system has been dominant in India since the beginning. As a result of the changes taking place during the British rule and several steps taken after the attainment of independence, the nature of the caste system changed. But, is the caste system in India turning into a class system found in western societies? This question is related to the boundaries of caste and class. Caste system is such a fragmented system of society in which cooperation is found functionally in different levels (castes). Class system is also a segmental system in which competition is found in different levels (classes). Another difference related to the boundaries of these two (as pointed out by Edmund Leach) is that in class societies the elite are the minority group and the majority of the lower classes are engaged in competition among themselves for the support of the elite. The opposite is found in the caste system, as dominant castes compete for the support of lower caste individuals. Are these two different systems of stratification found together in our society or only one? There is not much agreement among the scholars about this also. Many scholars have expressed the opinion that the class system (in the words of Marx, if the class system is seen from the point of view of class consciousness) is not found in the context of Indian society because caste system has been dominant here since the beginning. While scholars like Andre Beteille have expressed the view that the class system is found in Indian society. In fact, they are of the view that sociologists and social anthropologists have been more shy in studying the class system in India. Yogendra Singh while discussing the inter-relationship between caste and class in India has emphasized that caste and class coincide at the same point. This means that caste and class are inextricably linked. If we look at the caste system traditionally, we find that the upper caste people were generally economically superior as well (i.e. belonged to the upper class). Because the caste system has been a strong system in the Indian society, it has kept the class system under its sway and has not allowed it to emerge. People’s awareness and loyalty has been towards caste and not towards class.

Is caste turning into class in Indian society?

Today, important changes are taking place in the caste system due to urbanization, industrialization, westernization, sanskritization, modernization and development in the means of education, transport and communication. Its strict prohibitive tendency is becoming loose. The result of this is that the class system, which was earlier subsumed in the caste system, is now being separated from it. Also, today cooperation among castes (which has been the main feature of this system) is ending and its place is being taken by competition (characteristic of class system). Different scholars have mentioned different classes (like land owner class, capitalist class, labor class, tenant class etc.) found in the Indian society. But can we say on the basis of this change that the caste system is ending in our society today and its place is being taken by the class system? Probably not, because class system is emerging in our society, there is no doubt about it, but it marks the end of caste system, there are difficulties in accepting it. Although many structural and institutional changes are taking place in the caste system, yet it cannot be said that this system is ending in our society. If all the prohibitions related to the caste system are completely abolished and there is openness in it like the class system, then we will not have any difficulty in accepting this argument, but it is not so now, so it cannot be accepted that
Caste is turning into class in India.







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