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AMITY LAW SCHOOL,NOIDA.

Sociology Project on CASTEISM IN INDIA


By Honey Uppal, Enrollment Number- A321113187,4th Semester,BA.LLB,2013-2018,Section-c
ACKNOWLEDGMENT:- First of all my deepest thanks to our lecturer Mr. Anil Kumar sir , the guide of the
project.I would also extend my heartfelt thanks to my Family and well wishers for supporting me while making
of this project.
INTRODUCTION: - Casteism is an over-riding blind and supreme group loyalty that ignores the healthy
social standards of justice, fair play, equity and universal brotherhood. - KAKA KALELKER
Casteism is a peculiar evil of Rural India. It is closely connected with the Caste System. Therefore, casteism is
basically old rural problem and it exists only due to the one sides or particle loyalty in favour of a particular
caste.
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. Its
functionality in society is highly surprising because it has many drawbacks. The rigid structure of the caste
system in India has abided through centuries.
The Indian word for caste is jati. Thousand 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 warriors and
ruling section of society, Vaishyas who were businessmen, traders and farmers ; and Shudras who comprised of
labourers and humble peasants. The untouchable or Panchamas were placed below the category of Shudras. The
hierarchy of the Indian caste system has been severely criticized by individual with a humanitarian vision from
India and outside India.
When the members of a particular caste-group want to secure their interests and blindly work against
the interests of other castes, Casteism originated. Therefore, Casteism refers to emotional inclination
towards a caste. But the existence of caste feeling in a society where it signifies a specific social
status does not pertain to casteism. The sense of caste is converted to the casteism only when the
members of a particular caste consider themselves as superior and want to secure the interests of their
own caste contradiction to other castes.
What is Casteism? Casteism has been popularly defined by many scholars in different ways. Following are the
important definition of casteism.
According toKaka Kalekar,casteism in an over ridding, blind and supreme group loyalty that ignores the
health social standard of justice, fair play, equality and universal brother.
R.N.Sharmasays casteism is a blind group loyalty towards ones own caste or sub-caste which does not care
for the interests of other castes and seeks to realise the social, economic, political and other interests of its own
groups.
K.M.Panikkardefines casteism is the loyalty to the sub-caste translated into political.
D.N.Prasadopines casteism is a loyalty to the caste translated into politics. In this way caste has been dragged
into political arena in the form of casteism such as Brahmivada and Kayasthavada.
CAUSES OF CASTEISM 1)Social Inequality:Social inequality is the hate fullest expression of Caste
System. Under Caste System, the whole Hindu society is divided into two broad groups, higher and lower
castes. In a caste ridden society the higher caste people enjoy all the privileges while the people of lower caste
suffer from all kinds of disabilities. It leads to social inequality between the two caste groups. This caste
inequality is the root cause of casteism.
2. 2)Social Distance: Every Indian caste is basically known as closed group. Because it lacks mobility among the
members. In every sphere, there is a great social distance between the castes. Caste System imposes certain
restrictions on occupation, marriage, food, drink, social intercourse and so on. Therefore, one caste is socially
different from the other caste in Rural India.
The members of own caste cannot touch the culture, religion, norms and values of other casts. Their outlook is
only concentrated within their own caste boundary. As a result of which a strong caste feeling develops among
them. This feeling gradually converted to Casteism
3) Illiteracy and conservatism: Rural people are so illiterate and ignorant that they are very conservative and
deeply motivated by narrow thought and superstition. They believe deeply in old customs, traditions, folkways,

mores, norms and so on. The rural people are very orthodox in their nature. They oppose strongly to any change
in society. Being influenced by the rigid customs and traditions, the rural people consider their own caste as
superior. It gives birth to casteism.
4)Industrialisation and urbanisation: Industrialisation and urbanisation are the two process of modernisation.
These two processes encourage casteism in India to great extent. Due to the industrialisation, different types of
factories and industries set up in different parts of the country. As a result of which the people of different castes
work there and form various organisations on the basis of caste which results casteism.
On the other hand, urbanisation drove the people from rural areas to the urban areas. People belonging to a
particular caste got an opportunity to unite in large numbers in towns. As a consequence the people of different
castes formed different associations to seek maximum benefits of the caste members and its leads to casteism in
urban India.
5)Development of transport and communication: In the past, lack of the means of communication hindered
the growth of casteism in India to a great extent. But now-a-days, with the growth of transport, the members of
a particular caste could easily assimilate each other and the bondage of caste between them grew stronger.
Similarly, due to the development of mass media communication like post, telegraph, radio, television,
newspaper and so on, the people of one caste could easily communicate with each other and strong their caste
organisation. All these lead to casteism.
6)Sense of Caste Prestige: One of the important causes attributing to the growth of casteism in Rural India is
the strong desire of the people belonging to a particular caste to enhance the prestige of their, own caste. But the
prestige of caste can be maintained only when every opportunity is availed in order to improve the social statue
of its member. In order to achieve this objective every caste provides its members with all possible privileges in
order to raise their social status. This tends to increase casteism.
7)Marriage Restrictions: Every Indian caste is basically known as endogamous group. By endogamy, we
generally mean, marriage within the caste. Traditionally, Caste System imposes certain restrictions on the
institution of marriage. Due to this restriction, the members of a particular caste are forced to marry within its
own caste. Moreover, the members of one caste are linked in matrimonial relations; a strong caste feeling
develops among them which lead to castesism.
8)Reservation Policy: Some special privileges which constitutionally provided to the members of a particular
caste expedite casteism in modern Rural India to some extent. Due to the reservation policy of the government,
the people of lower caster getting maximum benefits in the fields of education, job and other occupational
sectors. But in actual practice, it is found that the lower caste people who have not adequate skill are posted in
different posts.
On the other hand, the people of higher caste having the adequate skill and capacity are deprived of such
facilities. As a consequence a cold war started between the members of higher and lower castes. This war is the
root cause of casteism.
DEMERITS OF CASTE SYSTEM-Dr. Radhakrishnan has rightly stated that the device of caste system has
ultimately prevented it from growing. Many other thinkers are of the opinion that the time has come to
overthrow the whole caste system.1. Social Disorganisation:-Instead of remaining a uniting force as it was in
its past, caste system has become a dividing element in Hindu society. It has divided the Hindus into hundreds
and hundreds of sub-caste groups and sects. Enmity and hatred has replaced the feeling of respect and sympathy
amongst the members of high and low caste.This attitude between high and low caste gradually developed into
the worst form of untouchability which pushed a major section of population to a state of lower than of an
animal. This stratification of society into high and low has cast its shadow on all aspects of Hindu society. Even
the top caste Brahmins are divided into the hundreds of Sections, each claiming itself to be superior to others.
Even in present India, this problem still stands as it was a hundred years ago.
2. Political Disunity:-Caste system divided the whole society into innumerable subdivisions and to unite them
politically has become impossible. This national disunity which was the direct outcome of caste system enabled
foreigners to conquer and rule over this land without any apparent difficulty. Even after independence we find
that caste elements are very active in our society and more after than not, they stand in the way of social
welfare.
3. Untouchability:-Caste system was the cause of degradation of a large portion of population of the Hindus.
Sudras were and still are treated as sub-humans. To say honestly they were regarded more repulsive than
crawling worms of the gutters. Persons of high caste think it necessary to wash themselves if they accidentally
touch a Harijan. They were deprived of all social privileges which were available to members of high caste and

were forbidden from all of such public places as temples, ghats, wells and schools etc. Thus, caste system cut
nearly crores of persons from the main stream of Indian social life.
4. Despotism of Upper Caste:-The caste system ultimately became an instrument in the hands of upper caste
for suppression of the persons of lower caste. That section of population which is called by the common name
of Harijans, were deprived of all kinds of property rights, of utilisation of villages ponds and the right of selfdevelopment. Such treatment of a part of Hindu community by the rest portion weakened the strength of the
whole community.
5. Religious Conversions:-Compelled by the tyranny of upper caste, great masses of the lower castes
converted their religion and accepted Islam or Christianity and became worst enemies of the Hindus. In Hindu
social organisation, cultural sphere is closely interwoven with the religious one. With the growing rigidity of
caste system, the religious life of an individual became an adulterated one and so became the whole culture.
Each caste and every sub-caste claimed the superiority of its own brand of culture. This fact stood as a veritable
abstacle in the way of cultural development of India as a whole.
6. Lower Status of Women:-Caste system is the principal cause of the downtrodden state of Hindu
womanhood. By the practice of the maintenance of the structure almost every right of a free human being were
snatched away from women. They were deprived of education and all directions of their progress were closed.
For the sake of caste, they were married before they could differentiate between a doll and a husband. They
were not allowed to remarry even if they became widows on the first day of their marriage, instead they were
compelled to burn themselves with the dead bodies of their husbands.
7. Denies Mobility of Labour:-It has denied mobility of labour since the individual must follow the caste
occupation and cannot change it according to his likes or dislikes. This hinders the economic progress of the
country.
8. Retards Solidarity:-It has retarded the growth of solidarity and brotherhood in the Hindu society by rigidly
separating one caste from the other and denying any type of social intercourse between them, it has been the
source of disintegration of Hindu society.
9. Hindrance in National Unity:-The caste system has been an obstacle to the growth of national unity in the
country. It is because man has his first loyalty to his caste than to any other group. The caste system is the
antithesis of democracy. Casteism has been the main root of malfunctioning of democratic institutions.
10. Obstacle to Social Progress:-Caste system does not allow changes to be introduced in society. Under the
caste system people are very conservative and traditional. They believe in customs and traditions and they do
not accept changes needed for social progress,
11. Undemocratic:-The caste system is undemocratic because it denies equal rights to all irrespective of their
caste, creed or colour. Social barriers are erected specially in the way of lower caste individuals who are not
given opportunity for mental and physical development. Thus, caste system has been undemocratic and created
inequality among the Hindus.Dr. Radhakrishnan had once remarked: Unfortunately this device to prevent the
social organisation from decay ultimately prevented it from growing. Hence, in spite of all the savings of the
priests, caste is simply a crystalised social institution which often doing its service is now filling the atmosphere
of India with stink.
STEP TO OVERCOME CASTEISM -1.The Existing Laws Be Made Stringent
Laws have been enforced against untouchability and prejudice toward those who belong to
lower caste. Article forbidding untouchability (Article 17), along with Article 25(2b) to open
Hindu pious institutions to all sections of Hindus, and Article 15 (4) to permit the state to do
special provisions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.
However, this has only made the caste system more deep-seated in society, making it more
secure. Articles in Part III to ensure Right to Equality. India is a democratic country with
freedom for everyone despite race, faith or gender.
2.Bonded Labor should be abolished-The practice of using poor villagers for cheap labor, often giving them
low wages dwellings. Then giving them loans with interest that are supposed to be paid off in exchange for
labor. If the loans are not paid off, then his offspring must work for years in order to pay off the loans of their
fathers or grandfathers. This continues for generations which are not less than
slavery. It is time for the government to get concerned to make sure that this practice comes to an end once and
for all, and see to it that all financial obligations are nullified.
3.Protection for Children-Right to Education has to be accessed by the under privileged to allow them better
equipped to overcome such a menace. Stringent action should be taken against all those who violate the laws.

4.Crucial responsibility of a Religion -Spiritual organizations should address the distorted consciousness
through spiritual education and practice, so that people can seriously change their view of their fellow
human beings. Our vision should be at a higher plane if we consider ourselves human beings. The above
mentioned points may not uproot this problem, but it could certainly take things in the right direction and begin
to change our society.
5.Promote Inter-caste Marriage- Society must provide special offers for people who does inter caste
marriage. Inter caste marriage will change the next generation people without knowing caste.
6.Eliminate Caste Word -Government must pass a law like untouchability to make caste a criminal word. No
form or government policy must have caste oriented approach.
7.Economic Stability-We need government economic policy to focus on overall development of all section of
the people.
8.Eradicate Timeless Reservation -We need to remove reservation after first generation receiving the benefits
of reservation. Continuous is also a reason for caste development.
9.Nationalize -We need to take tough decision by bring every temple, water, road's etc under nationalized
policy; which makes people accessible to all resources.
REFERENCES-1.www.jstor.com
2. www.youtharticlelibrary.com
3. asianhistory.about.com
4. levels and limits of casteism in indian politics by p.c. mathur