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2/2/2015

CompetitiveExams:MainFeaturesofCasteSystemCaste&RaceExamrace

Casteandrace
AllegationsthatcasteamountstoracewereaddressedandrejectedbyBRAmbedkar,anadvocateforDalitrightsandcriticof
untouchability.Hewrotethat
TheBrahminofPunjabisraciallyofthesamestockastheChamar(Dalit)ofPunjab.TheCastesystemdoesnotdemarcateracial
division.Castesystemisasocialdivisionofpeopleofthesamerace
SuchallegationshavealsobeenrejectedbymanysociologistssuchasAndreBateille,whowritesthattreatingcasteasaformofracism
ispoliticallymischievousandworse,scientificallynonsensicalsincethereisnodiscernibledifferenceintheracialcharacteristics
betweenBrahminsandScheduledCastes.HewritesthatEverysocialgroupcannotberegardedasaracesimplybecausewewantto
protectitagainstprejudiceanddiscrimination
TheIndiangovernmentalsorejectstheclaimsofequivalencybetweenCasteandRacialdiscrimination,pointingoutthatthecaste
issuesasessentiallyintraracialandintracultural.IndianAttorneyGeneralSoliSorabjeeinsistedthatheonlyreasonIndiawantscaste
discriminationkeptofftheagendaisthatitwilldistractparticipantsfromthemaintopic:Racism.CastediscriminationinIndiais
undeniablebutcasteandraceareentirelydistinctManyscholarsdisputetheclaimthatcasteismisakintoracism.Theviewofthe
castesystemasstaticandunchanginghasbeendisputed.Sociologistsdescribehowtheperceptionofthecastesystemasastaticand
textualstratificationhasgivenwaytotheperceptionofthecastesystemasamoreprocessual,empiricalandcontextualstratification.
OthershaveappliedtheoreticalmodelstoexplainmobilityandflexibilityinthecastesysteminIndia.Accordingtothesescholars,
groupsoflowercasteindividualscouldseektoelevatethestatusoftheircastebyattemptingtoemulatethepracticesofhighercastes.
SociologistMNSrinivashasalsodebatedthequestionofrigidityinCaste.Fordetailsseesanskritization.
PakistaniAmericansociologistAyeshaJalalalsorejectstheseallegations.Inherbook,DemocracyandAuthoritarianisminSouthAsia
shewritesthatAsforHinduism,thehierarchicalprinciplesoftheBrahmanicalsocialorderhavealwaysbeencontestedfromwithin
Hindusociety,suggestingthatequalityhasbeenandcontinuestobebothvaluedandpracticed.
InIndia,someobserversfeltthatthecastesystemmustbeviewedasasystemofexploitationofpoorlowrankinggroupsbymore
prosperoushighrankinggroups.InmanypartsofIndia,landislargelyheldbyhighrankingpropertyownersofthedominantcastes
thateconomicallyexploitlowrankinglandlesslabourersandpoorartisans,allthewhiledegradingthemwithritualemphasesontheir
socalledgodgiveninferiorstatus.
MattCherry,claimsthatkarmaunderpinsthecastesystem,andthecastesystemtraditionallydeterminesthepositionandroleofevery
memberofHindusociety.Castedeterminesanindividual'splaceinsociety,theworkheorshemaycarryout,andwhoheorshemay
marryandmeet.Accordingtohim,Hindusbelievethatthekarmaofpreviouslifewilldeterminethecasteanindividualwillbe(re)born
into:
AccordingtoStanfordUniversityscholarOmanJain,thereisnocastesystemcurrentlyinplaceinIndia.
On29March2007,theSupremeCourtofIndia,asaninterimmeasure,stayedthelawprovidingfor27percentreservationforOther
BackwardClassesineducationalinstitutionslikeIITsandIIMs.ThiswasdoneinresponsetoapublicinterestlitigationAshokaKumar
Thakurvs.UnionofIndia.TheCourtheldthatthe1931censuscouldnotbeadeterminativefactorforidentifyingtheOBCsforthe
purposeofprovidingreservation.Thecourtalsoobserved,Reservationcannotbepermanentandappeartoperpetuatebackwardness

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