Caste in Indian society refers to a social group where membership is decided by birth. Members of such local group are endogamous, i.e. they tend to enter into marital relationships among themselves. They often have related political preferences, similar to the racial preferences for the Democratic and Republican parties in the USA. For political/government purposes, the castes are broadly divided into The Indian Muslims (13.4%), and Christians (2.3%) often function as castes since they too marry among themselves.

Property Value
dbo:abstract
  • Caste in Indian society refers to a social group where membership is decided by birth. Members of such local group are endogamous, i.e. they tend to enter into marital relationships among themselves. They often have related political preferences, similar to the racial preferences for the Democratic and Republican parties in the USA. For political/government purposes, the castes are broadly divided into * Forward Castes (about 15% of population) * Other Backward Classes (OBC) (about 41% of population) * Scheduled Castes (about 20% of population) * Scheduled Tribes (about 9% of population) The Indian Muslims (13.4%), and Christians (2.3%) often function as castes since they too marry among themselves. Official lists are compiled by states recognizing the OBC, Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. The dividing lines can be ambiguous, several castes have demanded a lower rank so that they can avail the privileges offered. The term Upper caste also refers to Forward castes, when news reports refer to the Scheduled castes in relation to the two upper groups. The removal of the boundaries between "civil society" and "political society" meant that caste now played a huge role in the political arena and also influenced other government-run institutions such as police and the judicial system. Though caste seemed to dictate one's access to such institutions, the location of that caste also played a pivotal role. If a lower caste were concentrated enough in one area, it could then translate that pocket of concentration of its caste members into political power and then challenge the hegemony of locally dominant upper caste. Gender also plays a significant role in the power dynamic of caste in politics. Women's representation within the political system seems to also be tied to their caste. Lower, more conservative castes have less female participation in politics than upper, more socially liberal, castes. This has caused a disproportionately large number of upper-caste women to occupy political office when compared to their lower caste counterparts. The hierarchy of caste and its role in politics and access to power and resources has created a society of patron-client relationships along caste lines. This staunchly rigid structure was most prevalent during the Congress-dominating period. This eventually led to the practice of vote banking, where voters back only candidates that are in their caste , or officials from which they expect to receive some kind of benefits. Historically it has been very hard to change the structure of caste politics in India. More recently however, there has been a flux in caste politics, mainly caused by economic liberalisation in India. This upsurge in lower-caste empowerment was accompanied in some regions by a spike in the level of corruption. This was partly due to lower caste perceiving development programs and rule of law as tools used by the upper caste to subjugate lower castes. Contemporary India, however, has seen the influence of caste start to decline. This is partly due to the spread of education to all castes which has had a democratising effect on the political system. However, this "equalising" of the playing field has not been without controversy. The Mandal Commission and its quotas system has been a particularly sensitive issue. It has been argued by Professor Dipankar Gupta that the role of castes in Indian elections have been overplayed. and the suggestion was that we have to finish the caste system we allow have to live together with love and respect to each other so after that we must call us as INDIAN with proud (en)
dbo:wikiPageExternalLink
dbo:wikiPageID
  • 8397245 (xsd:integer)
dbo:wikiPageRevisionID
  • 738479069 (xsd:integer)
dct:subject
rdf:type
rdfs:comment
  • Caste in Indian society refers to a social group where membership is decided by birth. Members of such local group are endogamous, i.e. they tend to enter into marital relationships among themselves. They often have related political preferences, similar to the racial preferences for the Democratic and Republican parties in the USA. For political/government purposes, the castes are broadly divided into The Indian Muslims (13.4%), and Christians (2.3%) often function as castes since they too marry among themselves. (en)
rdfs:label
  • Caste politics (en)
rdfs:seeAlso
owl:sameAs
prov:wasDerivedFrom
foaf:isPrimaryTopicOf
is dbo:wikiPageRedirects of
is foaf:primaryTopic of