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Discuss the Evolution of the role of Caste in India.

Discuss the Evolution of the role of Caste in India.


1 Answer


A perusal of the role of the caste in some of the states of India shows that it still continues to be a paramount factor in state politics. No doubt, there are persons who have described the role of the caste as a fissiparous threat to national unity. They contend that caste has encouraged the people to put group loyalty above merit and complete and selfishness above public well being, and thereby jeopardized the liberal democratic values. The selection of candidates and their elections have often taken place solely on the basis of caste which is detrimental both to the social progress and national unity, but generally people vote on caste basis so no party having pragmatic outlook can not avoid it.

The caste has also exercised a liberating influence. The objective of caste system is only to emphasize that it is a unique feature in India that the prevailing social structure allows us to proceed with mass programs without creating the usual feature of an emorphous mass upon which some adventurist or demogogue can work. India remained united due to caste, a person if he is Maratha used to marry in his caste in Maharastra though he may be living at Bithore in U.P. Marriages used to take place on the basis of caste consideration without any regional considerations, so India remained united.

The pattern of our representative democracy based on the principle of one man one vote, has drawn caste into the web of electoral politics. Many caste groups have asserted their right to participate in elections and contested for power, thereby giving new dimensions to Indian politics. This has not been all an evil, but a mixed blessing. Prof. Rudolphs has rightly observed that caste in politics has been seriously misunderstood and its positive contribution neglected. Role of caste for integration of India is very useful as it is alone which united India.

As elections are held on territorial and regional basis, so castes which have large population but are scattered all over India have suffered most. In Indian society gold smiths, barbers, weavers, traders, cloth stitchers (darzi), kahars, carpenters, etc. due to their profession were scattered all over India, so they have suffered most. Remedy lies that people should be given power of collective voting for election of legislative councils and district boards and municipal boards etc. By this method all professionals and castes will get representation and caste dominance which is threatening unity and integrity of India may disappear and through proportional representation all castes may get representation according to their population. In U.S.A. for senate whole state votes as one unit. In June, 2006, U.P.A. government has announced seat reservation to 0.B .C. in education to capture their votes.

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August 13, 2019