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=> Caste system India

The word caste is derived from the term 'casba'. It depicts a ranking system of human groups based on hereditary and occupation. The traditional Caste system in India is a rigid mode to compartmentalize society. The Indian caste system is highly complex. Its functionality in Indian society is highly surprising because it has many drawbacks. The rigid structure of the caste system in India has abided through centuries.

In India, caste system comprises closed groups, whose members are severely obliged to restrain themselves to certain hereditary occupations. Particular castes are allowed to marry and socialize only within their own groups. In India an Individuals social status is gauged by his birth. This also serves to determine his caste. Nowhere in the world is caste exalted to such a degree as in India.

The Indian word for caste is ‘jati’. Thousands of ‘jatis’ are strewn all over India. Each jati has its own governance, customs, traditions, religion, rules and style of living. The ancients divided Indian society in four groups-namely Brahmans who came from the priestly group of learning, Shatriyas who were the warrior and ruling section of society, Vaishyas who were businessmen, traders and farmers; and Shudras who comprised of laborers and humble peasants.

The untouchable or Panchamas were placed below the category of Shudras. The rigid hierarchy of the Indian caste system has been severely criticized by individuals with a humanitarian vision from India and outside India. Gautam Buddha, Mahavir, Ramananda Maharshi, Kabir, Eknath, Dnyneshwar, Ramanuja, Tukaram, and Sathya Sai Baba all led criticisms of caste system in India in olden times. Many Christian missionaries and Indian reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Dayananad, Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Vivekanand, Mannathu Padmanabhan, Narayan Guru and Mahatma Gandhi led many crusades against discriminations based on caste in Indian society.

The caste system is still very much prevalent in India and the effects of caste system in modern India can be seen in the form of quota systems, reservations, marriages etc.
There are multiple effects of caste system in modern India. Metropolitan India has started walking away from the rigidity of the Indian caste system. This is the result of co mingling with other communities, higher education, globalization and economic growth. The government of India has decided to issue job quotas to the less privileged castes and the so called backward classes. Caste based reservations in India have ignited the communal fire in a different way.

Caste based positive reservations were designed to reverse the discriminations based on caste. Inter caste marriages have served to abate the rigidity of caste culture in Indian society. Caste based violence and caste politics has opened the eyes of many people to the dangers of caste practices in modern India. Criticisms of caste system have been brought out by many liberal thinkers around the globe. It is in benefit of the people of India that they gradually remove the caste barrier from their mind to live in harmony and peace..



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