The Caste Movement In India

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The Caste Question Indrajit Borah Whether Rohith Vemula’s anti-Brahminical outburst is a resurrection of age-old caste movements or a convergence of Left and Ambedkarite politics; the pertinent question is, how Indian democracy could have further eradicated caste-based oppression since independence? The Indian Caste System was a closed system of social stratification with four hierarchically ranked castes called Varnas covering over 4000 specialized occupational sub-castes, called Jatis as per the Anthropological Survey of India. Hereditary specialization, sacred hierarchy and mutual repulsion were the three main characteristics of the system behind ritualistic practising of endogamy, occupational restriction and restriction of caste mobility.…show more content…
The main demands of caste movements before independence were freedom from the caste-specific imposed labour, grant of forest or waste lands for cultivation, and removal of legal disabilities from owning land. Gandhi integrated the issue of abolition of untouchability into the national movement. In 1935, the British Government of India came out with a list of 400 groups considered untouchable, as well as many tribal groups, later termed as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Ambedkar agreed to the Poona Pact by which these communities were given reserved seats in electoral bodies within the Hindu…show more content…
The various safeguards built into the social structure of caste prevented progressive polarisation of class differences in India. The trickle-down based national growth policies after independence have also mostly benefited the elite and rich, leaving behind the deprived in partial stagnation like the huge agricultural sector on which the bulk of the people depend for livelihoods. Again, the Backward Castes have gained considerable economic advantage after Jamindary abolition in the post-independence land reforms. This new-found strength increased their political clout and impeded further tenancy reforms which can be seen as co-mingling of class and caste interests in an undeveloped capitalistic

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