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PROJECT REPORT

ON
"Changing Structure of caste

SUBMITTED TO:

Dr. Ayan Hazra


Faculty, Sociology
Submitted by:

Ravi Tiwari, Roll number: 127


Semester III; B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)

HIDAYATULLAH NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, RAIPUR


CHHATTISGARH
Submitted on: 10h October 2014

DECLARATION
I, Ravi Tiwari, hereby declare that, the project work entitled, Changing structure of
caste submitted to H.N.L.U., Raipur is record of an original work done by me under the
able guidance of Dr. Ayan Hazra, Faculty Member, H.N.L.U., Raipur.
Ravi Tiwari
Batch III
Roll No. 127
10/10/2014

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I feel highly elated to get to work on the topic Changing Structure of caste
. The practical realization of this project has obligated the assistance of

many persons. I express my deepest regard and gratitude for Dr. Ayan
Hazra, faculty of Sociology. His consistent supervision, constant inspiration
and invaluable guidance have been an immense help in understanding and
carrying out the nuances of this project report.
I would also like extend my hand of gratitude towards the friends and family,
without whose support and encouragement this project would not have been
a reality.
I take this opportunity to thank the university, and the Honorable Vice
Chancellor for providing extensive database resources in the library and
through Internet.
For any sort of errors that might have crept in, it is deeply regretted. I shall
be grateful if further comments and suggestions are put forth regarding
improvisation of the provisions.

~Ravi Tiwari

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Declaration.1
2. Acknowledgements.........2
3. Introduction.............................................................................................5
4. Objective................................................................................................7
5. Ch. 1- Changes take place caste system during different periods....8
6. Ch.2- Modern Status and Recent Changes........................................15
5. Conclusion.............................................................................................25
6. References ..........................................................................................26

Introduction

Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary


transmission of a lifestyle which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy
and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and
pollution.[1][2] According toHuman Rights Watch and UNICEF, caste discrimination
affects an estimated 250 million people worldwide.[3][4]

A paradigmatic, ethnographic example is the division of Indian society into rigid social
groups, with roots in India's ancient history and persisting until today.[5][3] Historically,
the caste system in India has consisted of thousands of endogamous groups called Jatis or
Quoms (among Muslims). Independent India has witnessed caste-related violence.
The Nepalese caste system resembles that of the Indian Jtisystem with numerous Jti
divisions with a Varna system superimposed for a rough equivalence. Religious, historical
and sociocultural factors have helped define the bounds of endogamy for Muslims in
some parts of Pakistan. The Caste system in Sri Lanka is a division of society into strata,
[6] influenced by the classic Aryan Varnas of North India and the Dravida Jti system
found in South India.

Balinese caste structure has been described in early 20th-century European literature to
be based on three categories triwangsa (thrice born) or the nobility, dwijati (twice born)
in contrast to ekajati (once born) the low folks. In China during the period of Yuan
Dynasty, rulerKublai Khan enforced a Four Class System, which was a legal caste
system. The order of four classes of people was maintained by the information of the
descending order were: Mongolian, Semu people, Han people (in the northern areas of
China), and Southerners (people of the former Southern Song Dynasty). In Japan's
history, social strata based on inherited position rather than personal merits, was rigid and
highly formalized. With the unification of the three kingdoms in the 7th century and the
foundation of the Goryeo dynastyin the Middle Ages, Koreans systemised its own native
class system.

Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines some or all elements
ofendogamy, hereditary transmission of occupation, social class, social identity,hierarchy,
exclusion, and power. Caste as a closed social stratification system in which membership
is determined by birth and remains fixed for life; castes are also endogamous,
meaning marriage is proscribed outside one's caste, and offspring are automatically
members of their parents' caste.

Although Indian society is often associated with the word "caste," the system is common
in many non-Indian societies. Caste systems have been found across the globe, in widely
different cultural settings, including predominantly Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist,
and
other
societies.
UNICEF
estimates
that identification and
sometimes discrimination based on caste affects 250 million people worldwide.

In colonial Spain, throughout South America and Central America, castas referred to a
method of stratifying people based on race, ethnicity, and social status and was in
common usage since the 16th century. The term caste was applied to Indian society in the
17th century, via the Portuguese. The Dutch also used the word caste in their 19 thcentury
ethnographic studies of Bali and other parts of southeast Asia. In Latin American
sociological studies, the word caste often includes multiple factors such as race, ethnicity,
and economic status. Multiple factors were used to determine caste in part because of
numerous mixed births during the colonial times between natives, Europeans, and people
brought in as slaves or indentured laborers .

Objective :I- To understand changes take place caste system during different
periods.
II- To understand what is current modern situation and recent
changes.

Research Methodology:
This research is descriptive and analytical in nature. Secondary and
electronic resources have been largely used to gather information and data
about the topic.
Books and other reference as guided by the faculty have been primarily
helpful in giving this project a firm structure. Websites, dictionaries, articles
and cases have also been referred.
Footnotes have been provided wherever necessary to acknowledge the same.

I.Changes take place caste system during different


periods:The Transformation of Caste System in India from Early to Medieval and British
Periods
The caste system, as it exists today, has developed through many centuries. Its structure
and functioning in ancient period (from 4000 B.C to 700 A.D., i.e., Vedic, Brahmanical,
Maurya and post-Maurya (or Sanga, Kushan and Gupta) periods was much different from

the medieval (Rajput and Muslim, i.e., 700 A.D. to 1757 A.D.) and the British periods (i e
1757-1947A.D.).
In the Vedic Period (1500-322 B.C.), there are two views pertaining to the prevalence of
the caste system. One school (Haug, 1863; Kern, Duti and Apte, 1940; Kamble, 1979)
holds that the caste system had existed and Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas were the
three caste divisions that the society of Rig Veda period clearly recognised. However,
Sudra caste did not exist. The other school (Weber, 1882; Ghurye, 1932) maintains that
these three were not castes but varnas which were not hereditary but flexible.

In

the

Brahmanical
period

that

followed

the

Brahmanas

and

Upnishads,

the

hierarchical system
of four varnas had
firmly established Itself and remained enduring for all times to come. The privileges
enjoyed by the Brahmins through the instrumentality of religion enabled them to impose
several restrictions. Though Brahmins and Kshatriyas remained in conflict with each
other trying to assert their superiority over the other, but Kshatriyas increased their power
over Vaisyas and Sudras.
On the issue of social relations among various social groups, caste distinctions became
clearer in Samhitas and the Brahmanas. In the latter part of the Epic period, priesthood
became hereditary and inevitably the Brahmins began to pay attention to the purity of the
blood and attaining a position of superiority over others. They prescribed codes of social

behaviour and relationships through Grihsutras (700-300 B.C.) and Dharmasutras (600300 B.C.).
It may, therefore, be said that the starting point of the caste system was the later Vedic
Age (800-500 B.C.) and the Epic Age (500-200 B.C.). Since the basis of social
stratification was division of labour, in its original form, it was a class system rather than
a caste system. The racial factor, the occupational bias, the philosophy of action, and the
religious concept of purity and pollutionall contributed to the formation of the caste
system.

In the Maurya period (i.e., from 322-184 B.C.), whole of India was politically united for
the first time under one head and rule. Political unity- led to cultural unity of the country.
Kautilyas writings give some idea about the social organisation and the functioning of
the caste system in this period. Kautilya (a Brahmin minister of a Sudra ruler
Chandragupta Maurya) tried to remove various restrictions imposed by the Brahmins on
the Sudras by declaring that the royal law would supersede the dharma law.
The rights and the privileges of Brahmins received a further blow in the days of Ashoka,
grandson of Chandragupta Maurya. Ashokas religious policy was broadly based on
toleration and universal brotherhood which did not recognise the caste barriers. The caste
system, because of all these measures could not develop as a rigid institution in this
period.

In post-Maurya period, a fresh stimulus was provided to the revival of the Brahmanical
religion and the development of the caste system. Brahmins gave themselves special
privileges in Manu Smriti (185 B.C.) and imposed various restrictions on the Sudras. The
Smriti prescribed severe punishment to Sudras for insulting Brahmins (cutting out
tongue, thrusting iron-nail in mouth, pouring hot oil into ears).
Thus, equality in law was completely destroyed by such prescriptions and the caste
system developed on rigid lines and assumed a new structure. The Gupta period (that
followed the Sanga period from 300-500 A.D) was the period of Hindu renaissance.
Brahminism became the ethnic religion of India in this period and caste system got a
further incentive. However, it did not become very rigid. Marriage rules were elastic and
examples of inter-marriages and inter-dining were not unknown.
Sudras were permitted to become traders, artisans and agriculturists. But untouchability
existed in this period more or less in its present form. The untouchables lived outside the
main settlements. In post-Gupta period (Harsh Vardhana and others: 606-700 A.D.) also,
the caste system continued to have the same structure as it had in the Gupta period.
An elaborate account of social, religious and economic conditions of India of this period
is available in Chinese scholar Hieun Tsangs writings who visited India in 630 A.D. and
remained here for 13 years. He writes that caste ruled the social structure, Brahminism
dominated, and persons following unclean occupations (scavengers, butchers, etc.) had to
live outside the four walls of the city.
The Medieval period includes the Rajput period (700-1200 A.D.) and the Muslim period
(1200-1757 A.D.). In the Rajput period, the cultural life of the Hindus was not very
different from the one found in earlier periods. The Indian social system did not change
due to political security. Brahmins gave themselves more privileges. The mathas,
established by Shankaracharya, became the centres of luxurious life. The system of

devdasi fostered the growth of temple prostitution which led to the growth of the
loosening of moral codes.
Rajputs loyalty to their own clans made them indifferent to the larger patriotism of the
whole country. New castes and sub-castes came into being which were so circumscribed
by vested interests that they had evil repercussions on the social and political life of the
country. Consequently, foreign Muslims started attacking India.
The foundation of the Muslim empire in India was laid down by Mohamood Ghori in
1175 A.D. which was followed by Mughal attacks. The caste system in the Muslim
period (1206-1857 A.D.) became still more rigid because Muslims were not absorbed in
the elastic Hindu-fold. Their religion (Islam), being fiercely monotheistic, could not
allow any compromise with polytheism.
Since Muslims led a religious crusade against India and tried to convert people to Islam,
Brahmins assuming upon themselves the responsibility of protecting the Hindus from
being proselytised, imposed severe restrictions on Hindus, making caste system a very
rigid system. Though some Bhaktas (saints) like Ramanuj, Kabir, Guru Nanak,
Chaitanya, Tukaram, Tulsidas, Namdev, etc. preached Bhakti cult in this period which
denounced idolatory and cast and preached equality of all people, protested against
excessive ritualism and domination of the priestly class, yet this cult could not
disintegrate the caste system.
Brahmins could retain their leadership of Hindus because temples were used not only for
religious purposes but also for social, political and cultural activities. Brahmins made
caste distinctions more rigorous by declaring that all those Hindus who worked with or
for Muslims would be treated as Malechha, like Muslims. Thus, castes like Sunar
(goldsmiths), Luhar (blacksmiths), Nai (barbers), Dhobi (washer men), Khati (carpenters)
and the like came to be treated as castes of low status. Puranas were rewritten and new
commandments were prescribed, making the caste system very rigid.

In early British (or pre-industrial) period, the material development of the country,
contact with the outer world, socio-economic policies of the government, and some
legislative measures taken, brought about a change in our religious doctrines, social
practices, and also in the caste structure of the society. The judicial powers of the caste
councils were transferred to the civil and the criminal courts.
The Caste Disabilities Removal Act of 1850, the Widow Remarriage Act of 1856, and the
Special Marriage Act of 1872 also attacked the caste system. The integrity of the caste
system got a further blow when through some social measures, some of the disabilities of
untouchables were removed. However, the British government had taken these measures
purely for administrative reasons and not because it wanted to abolish the caste system.
Ghurye (1961:190) also has expressed a similar opinion. Some social movements of
social reformers also attacked the caste system. The Brahmo Samaj movement led by
Raja Ram Mohan Roy rejected the barriers of caste divisions and stood for
universalisation and brotherhood of man. The Prarthana Sabha movement supported by
Justice Ranade also devoted its attention to social reform such as inter-caste marriage,
inter-dining and remarriage of widows, etc.
The Arya Samaj movement founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Ramakrishna
Mission movement raised voice against caste and preached its abolition. The Lingayat
movement in South India also preached the giving up of the caste system. However, all
these attacks did not remove the rigidity of the caste system in this period (i.e., in the first
quarter of the twentieth century) though some structural features of caste were definitely
affected.
The industrial phase in the British period started from 1920-25 onwards after the First
World War. The processes of industrialisation and urbanisation (migration of people from
villages to cities) affected caste structure to a great extent. Industrial growth provided
new sources of livelihood to people and made occupational mobility possible. New trans-

portation facilities also made frequent communication possible, which threw together
millions of people of all castes. Taboos against food-sharing started weakening when
industrial workers belonging to different castes started living together in the same house,
leaving their families behind in villages.
Urbanisation and growth of cities also considerably changed the functioning of the caste
system. Not only were commensally inhibitions relaxed but the authority of the Brahmins
also came to be questioned. Kingsley Davis (1951) has held that the anonymity,
congestion, mobility, secularism and changeability of the city make the operation of the
caste virtually impossible.
Ghurye (1961:202) also holds that changes in the rigidities of the caste system were due
to the growth of city life. M.N. Srinivas too (1962:85-86) holds that due to the migration
of Brahmins to the towns, the non-Brahmins refused to show same respect to them which
they showed before, and inter-caste eating and drinking taboos were also weakened. It
may, thus, be said that the structure and the functioning of the caste system and its ritual
economic and social aspects were greatly changed in the industrial phase of the British
period.

II. Modern Status and Recent Changes


The Indian government officially recognises historically discriminated communities of
India such as the Untouchables under the designation of Scheduled Castes, and certain
economically backward Shudra castes as Other Backward Castes.The Scheduled Castes
are sometimes referred to as Dalit in contemporary literature. In 2001, the proportion of
Dalit population was 16.2 percent of India's total population.Of the one billion Hindus in
India, it is estimated that Hindu Forward caste comprises 26%, Other Backward Class
comprises 43%, Hindu Scheduled Castes (Dalits) comprises 22% and Hindu Scheduled
Tribes comprises 9%.

Article 15 of the Constitution of India prohibits discrimination based on caste and Article
17 declared the practice of untouchability to be illegal. In 1955, India enacted the

Untouchability (Offences) Act (renamed in 1976, as the Protection of Civil Rights Act). It
extended the reach of law, from intent to mandatory enforcement. The Scheduled Castes
and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was passed in India in 1989.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was
established to investigate, monitor, advise, and evaluate the socio-economic
progress of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
A reservation system for people classified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
Tribes has existed for over 50 years. The presence of privately owned free market
corporations in India is limited and public sector jobs have dominated the
percentage of jobs in its economy. A 2000 report estimated that most jobs in India
were in companies owned by the government or agencies of the government. The
reservation system implemented by India over 50 years, has been partly
successful, because of all jobs, nationwide, in 1995, 17.2 percent of the jobs were
held by those in the lowest castes.[citation needed]
The Indian government classifies government jobs in four groups. The Group A
jobs are senior most, high paying positions in the government, while Group D are
junior most, lowest paying positions. In Group D jobs, the percentage of positions
held by lowest caste classified people is 30% greater than their demographic
percentage. In all jobs classified as Group C positions, the percentage of jobs held
by lowest caste people is about the same as their demographic population
distribution. In Group A and B jobs, the percentage of positions held by lowest
caste classified people is 30% lower than their demographic percentage.
The presence of lowest caste people in highest paying, senior most position jobs
in India has increased by ten-fold, from 1.18 percent of all jobs in 1959 to 10.12
percent of all jobs in 1995.
In 2007, India elected K. G. Balakrishnan, a Dalit, to the office of Chief Justice.
In 2007, Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of India, elected Mayawati as the
Chief Minister, the highest elected office of the state. BBC claims, "Mayawati
Kumari is an icon for millions of India's Dalits, or untouchables as they used to be
known."
In 2009, the Indian parliament unanimously elected a Dalit, Meira Kumar, as the
first female speaker.

In addition to taking affirmative action for people of schedule castes and scheduled tribes,
India has expanded its effort to include people from poor, backward castes in its

economic and social mainstream. In 1990, the government reservation of 27% for
Backward Classes on the basis of the Mandal Commission's recommendations. Since
then, India has reserved 27 percent of job opportunities in government-owned enterprises
and agencies for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs). The 27 percent
reservation is in addition to 22.5 percent set aside for India's lowest castes for last 50
years.

In a 2008 study, Desai et al. focussed on education attainments of children and young
adults aged 629, from lowest caste and tribal populations of India. They completed a
national survey of over 100,000 households for each of the four survey years between
1983 and 2000. They found a significant increase in lower caste children in their odds of
completing primary school. The number of dalit children who completed either middle-,
high- or college-level education increased three times faster than the national average,
and the total number were statistically same for both lower and upper castes. However,
the same study found that in 2000, the percentage of dalit males never enrolled in a
school was still more than twice the percentage of upper caste males never enrolled in
schools. Moreover, only 1.67% of dalit females were college graduates compared to
9.09% of upper caste females. The number of dalit girls in India who attended school
doubled in the same period, but still few percent less than national average. Other poor
caste groups as well as ethnic groups such as Muslims in India have also made
improvements over the 16-year period, but their improvement lagged behind that of dalits
and adivasis. The net percentage school attainment for Dalits and Muslims were
statistically the same in 1999.

A 2007 nationwide survey of India by the World Bank found that over 80 percent of
children of historically discriminated castes were attending schools. The fastest increase
in school attendance by Dalit community children occurred during the recent periods of
India's economic growth.

A study by Darshan Singh presents data on health and other indicators of socio-economic
change in India's historically discriminated castes. He claims:

In 2001, the literacy rates in India's lowest castes was 55 percent, compared to a
national average of 63 percent.
The childhood vaccination levels in India's lowest castes was 40 percent in 2001,
compared to a national average of 44 percent.

Access to drinking water within household or near the household in India's lowest
castes was 80 percent in 2001, compared to a national average of 83 percent.
The poverty level in India's lowest castes dropped from 49 percent to 39 percent
between 1995 and 2005, compared to a national average change from 35 to 27
percent.

Caste Politics
Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru had radically different approaches to caste, especially
concerning constitutional politics and the status of untouchables.[118] Since the 1980s,
caste has become a major issue in the politics of India.[118]

The Mandal Commission was established in 1979 to "identify the socially or


educationally backward" and to consider the question of seat reservations and quotas for
people to redress caste discrimination.[119] In 1980, the commission's report affirmed
the affirmative actionpractice under Indian law, whereby additional members of lower
castesthe other backward classeswere given exclusive access to another 27 percent
of government jobs and slots in public universities, in addition to the 23 percent already
reserved for the Dalits and Tribals. When V. P. Singh's administration tried to implement
the recommendations of the Mandal Commission in 1989, massive protests were held in
the country. Many alleged that the politicians were trying to cash in on caste-based
reservations for purely pragmatic electoral purposes.

Many political parties in India have indulged in caste-based votebank politics. Parties
such as Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal claim that
they are representing the backward castes, and rely on OBC support, often in alliance
with Dalit and Muslim support, to win elections.[120] Remarkably, in what is called a
landmark election in the history of India's most populated state of Uttar Pradesh,[by
whom?] the Bahujan Samaj Party was able to garner a majority in the state assembly
elections with the support of the high caste Brahmin community.

Recent Changes:Changes in the caste system entail three types of changes such as structural change,
functional change and attitudinal change.

Structural Changes:
(i) Decline in the supremacy of the Brahmins:
There has been a sharp decline in the supremacy of the Brahmins in society. In the past,
the Brahmin occupied the topmost position in the caste hierarchy. But today consequent
upon the process of modernization the dominance of the Brahmins has been relegated to
the background. He does not enjoy the same social status, which he once used to.
(ii) Changes in the Caste hierarchy:
The caste system is no longer a clearly demarcated system of hierarchically-ordered caste
groups. As a result of certain factors such as occupational diversification, migration to
urban areas, mechanisation of agriculture, boundaries between caste groups are tending to
blur or break down. There is an increasing degree of interpenetration between different
groups, classes and categories. A gradual lessening of the congruence between caste, class
and power is visible.
(iii) Protection of the Harijans:
The governmental policy of protective discrimination has gone a long way in improving
the socio -economic conditions of the Harijans. Consequently, their social status has
improved to a considerable extent.

Functional Changes:
(i) Change in the fixation of status:
In a caste society, birth was taken as the exclusive basis of social status. But in the
changing social scenario, birth no longer constitutes the basis of social prestige. Criteria
such as wealth, ability, education, efficiency etc. have become the determinants of social
status. The significance of caste as an ascriber of status has been relegated to the
background.
(ii) Change with regard to occupation:
So far as caste system is concerned, the individual had no choice but to follow the
occupation ascribed to him by his caste. But today occupation is not the hereditary
monopoly of any caste any more. One is free to take up any occupation he likes according
to his ability and interest. Mahatma Gandhis movement preaching dignity of labour has
drawn higher castes to dirty-hand callings while education has opened white- collar
occupations for members of lower castes.
(iii) Changes in marriage restrictions:
Under the caste system endogamy was the basis of mate-selection. The members of a
caste or sub-caste were forbidden by an inexorable social law to marry outside the group.
But at present the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 have
removed endogamic restrictions and declared inter-caste marriages as legally valid.
Of late, several factors such as impact of western philosophy, coeducation, working
together of males and females of different castes in the same factory or office have
contributed to an increase in the cases of inter-caste marriage, love-marriage and latemarriage.
(iv) Change in commensality:

In the traditional system, the unit of commensality was defined fairly rigidly in terms of
caste affiliation. In recent times, there has been a gradual expansion of this unit. Today,
Brahmins are inter dining with clean Shudras. They do not hesitate to take kachha food
from other clean castes. Furthermore, they do not hesitate to accept food and water from
the members of the lower castes for fulfillment of their political ends.
(v) Change in the concept of purity and pollution:
Kapadia stated that the Hindu concept of purity and pollution was very extensive in its
scope and mandatory in its observance till the twenties of this century. Under the caste
system occupations were ranked in accordance with their ritual purity. For example, a
person coming into contact with a barber was supposed to become impure. Meat, fish,
wine etc. were regarded as ritually impure.
A menstruating lady was considered impure and as such the food cooked by her was
considered impure. In the twenty first century the importance of these ideas of purity and
pollution in Hindu social life has considerably decreased.
Religious sanction no more constitutes the basis of pure and impure. The rules of hygiene
have formed the criterion of pure and impure at present.
(vi) Change in the life style:
In the past, every caste had its own life style. It was the differences in the styles of life
that made the people of different castes appear distinct from one another. But today
differences between the life styles of castes are gradually being eliminated and there is a
marked tendency towards the evolution of a common style. The standardization of life
styles is due to the twin processes of sanskritization and westernization.
(vii) Change in inter-caste relations:
Of late, the pattern of inter-caste relations has undergone profound changes. The mutual
rights and obligations characterising inter-caste relations have crumbled down. Members

of the low castes no longer obey the orders of the members of high castes. They do not
come forward to perform forced labour for the members of the upper caste.
Further, efforts made by the lower castes to rise in the social ladder have annoyed the
upper castes. All these factors have led to inter-caste conflicts. Such inter-caste conflicts
are gradually increasing. However, these are more for achieving power than on grounds
of ritual status.
(viii) Change in the power of caste Panchayats:
So far as caste system was concerned, each caste had a caste Panchayat. The caste
Panchayat played the role of a judicial body. But today Jati Panchayats are on the decline.
Law courts and village factions have taken over most of their roles.
(ix) Restrictions on education removed:
Today education is no more confined to the higher castes. Anybody belonging to any
caste can prosecute study in educational institutions. Of late, the Government both at the
Union and State levels has adopted several measures for the spread of education among
the lower castes by way of giving them stipends, scholarships, free study materials,
reservation of seats etc.
(x) Changes in the system of power:
The notions of democracy and adult franchise have affected the caste system in several
ways. The new political system attacks the very roots of hierarchization. In the past
politics was regarded as the sole preserve of the higher castes. But today people
belonging to all castes are becoming conscious that they can play an important role in the
political processes and can be benefitted from them.
(xi) Growth of caste consciousness:
Casteism has increased. It has affected political issues and political decisions.

(xii) Weakening of the Jajmani system:


The Jajmani system in the villages has weakened, affecting inter-caste relations. Several
reasons like laxity in the performance of rites and rituals on the part of the members of
various castes, decline of Brahminical supremacy, development in the field of transport
and communication, intergenerational educational mobility etc. may be attributed to the
decline of Jajmani system in rural India.

Attitudinal Changes:
(i) Loss of faith in the ascriptive status:
Under the sway of rapid social transformation taking place in Indian society following the
processes

of

industrialization,

urbanization,

westernization,

secularization

and

modernization, the attitude of the people towards caste system has undergone
considerable changes.
They are not psychologically prepared to accept the fixed status of an individual solely on
the basis of birth. They attach importance to ability, efficiency, talent and aptitude. Hence
it is quite natural that they repose their faith in achieved status. As such, the very
foundation of the caste system has been shattered.
(ii) Change in the philosophical basis:
M .N. Srinivas holds the view that the law of karma and the doctrine of transmigration of
soul are responsible for the acceptance of caste system by the people. But such an
attitude towards caste does not exist at present. People do not believe that caste is
divinely ordained. They have begun to doubt the very philosophical basis of caste system.
In fine, the traditional Indian caste system does not find favour with modern sociologists.
The reason is not that it is intrinsically unsound but that it is wholly out of tune with the
prejudices

of

modern

sociology. Industrialization,

urbanization,

secularization,

modernization have brought about the aforesaid significant changes in the caste system.

M. N. Srinivas has rightly observed that caste has taken the shape of an incarnation in
modern India.

Conclusion:Although the system is now illegal all over the world, many people continue to consider
their caste membership when making certain decisions in life. Obviously, their are major
doubts that the caste system will be banished permanently, since many people still
practice it in the inner-cities of India
The caste system had a great affect on the Indian society. Despite the fact that it's one of
the many types of segregation seen throughout India, it did have its beneficial qualities.
For instance, it did establish a stable social order in the country for quite some time until
an official government came into place. All of India's people played a role in their society
and had certain jobs. The former caste members are now more tolerant of other castes and
sub-castes' people, and the divisions in the society are gradually diminishing.

References:1)http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/essay/essay-on-changes-in-caste-

system-in-india-1375-words/4871/
2)http://www.preservearticles.com/201105076350/recent-changes-taking-

place-in-indian-caste-system.html
3)http://www.burdosclassroom.org/worldhistorywiki/index.php?

title=The_Caste_System
4)http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/sociology/social-

stratification/transformation-of-caste-system-in-india/39160/