11 Changes that Occurred in the Caste System in Present India

Broadly Speaking, the following Changes in Caste Func­tioning may be Pointed Out in the Present Times:

After the political independence of the country in 1947, besides industrialisation and urbanisation, other factors which affected the caste system are: merger of various states, enactment of several laws, spread of educa­tion, socio-religious reform measures and movements, westernisation, growth of modern professions, spatial mobility and the growth of the market economy.

i. Caste system is not in the process of abolition but is making adequate adjustment with modern changes.

ii. The religious basis of caste has cramped. Old social practices of im­posing restrictions of varied types have dwindled. Caste no longer restricts newly valued individual freedom.

iii. Caste no longer determines the occupational career of an individual, though his social status continues to be dependent on his caste mem­bership.

iv. Serious efforts are being made to grant equality to the backward castes/dalits.

v. Inter-caste conflicts are increasing. However, these are more for achieving power than on grounds of ritual status.

vi. Casteism has increased.

vii. The jajmani system in the villages has weakened, affecting inter-caste relations.

viii. The dominance of a caste in a village no longer depends upon its rit­ual status.

ix. Caste and politics have come to affect each other.

x. On the one hand, some caste organisations have strengthened while on the other hand, a large number of castes have lost their group soli­darity and a sense of responsibility.

xi. Caste no longer acts as a barrier to social progress and to nation’s de­velopment. India is on the move in spite of the caste system.

Submitted by : Dr. Naomi, Category : Social Stratification, Tag : Caste System