Caste and Castelessness in the Indian society

“The abolition of caste as demanded during pre-independence period had

led to a predicament whereby the need to delegitimize caste was in conflict

with the commitment to redress the disabilities of caste.”

The article retraces sociological, political, constitutional and judicial perspectives and the emergence and rise of the notion of castelessness. When the caste system was made it was made to bring equality and create a just environment free of bias. Today, the system is misused and has brought more inequality. It is to be given only to those who cannot afford education or basic facilities and not to those who do not deserve it. Reservation should be only given on the basis of the actual need of it. It should be given to those who require financial aid. Reservation should not be given based on caste, creed, religion etc as he/she was not born in that with his/her wish in that position. The reservation system has received a mixed response from Indians since its inception. It has been praised for diminishing the gap between the upper and lower castes by allowing the latter to enjoy the further increased opportunities as the former in jobs, education, and governance by allotting seats exclusively for them. It has also been criticized for discouraging a merit-based system and encouraging vote bank politics.

Drawbacks:

●       Divides people and creates agony and rage among themselves

●       Non-filling of posts if proper candidates are not available

●       Castes are given preference instead of merits

●       Ill-treatment to reserved employees and students

●       Creates lethargy in reserved category

●       Narrows the scopes of general category people

●       Produces jealousy and antipathy between castes.

Demerits:

Social Disorganisation: Instead of remaining a uniting force as it was in its past, the 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 have 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. 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 hundreds of Sections, each claiming itself to be superior to others.

Political Disunity: Caste system divided the whole society into innumerable subdivisions and to unite them politically has become impossible. 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.

Untouchability: Caste system was the cause of degradation of a large portion of the population of the Hindus. Sudras were and still are treated like sub-humans. They were deprived of all social privileges which were available to members of high caste and were forbidden from all such public places as temples, ghats, wells and schools etc.

The despotism of Upper Caste: The caste system ultimately became an instrument in the hands of upper caste for suppression of the persons of a lower caste. That section of the population which is called by the common name of Harijans were deprived of all kinds of property rights, of the utilisation of village ponds and the right of self-development. Such treatment of a part of the Hindu community by the rest of the population weakened the strength of the whole community.

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 the Hindu social organisation, the cultural sphere is closely interwoven with the religious one. With the growing rigidity of the caste system, the religious life of an individual became an adulterated one and so became the whole culture.

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, leading to the disintegration of society.

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.

An 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.

Undemocratic: The caste system is undemocratic because it denies equal rights to all irrespective of their caste, creed, or colour. Social barriers are erected especially in the way of lower-caste individuals who are not given an opportunity for mental and physical development.

Mandal Commission: Mandal commission, while being vocal about the denial of opportunities for the OBC, did not recommend that from now on, every community should be given reservation, proportionate to their strength in the society, as determined by the national census. This resulted in a situation in which vested interests found an opportunity to divide India on caste lines and make youth from the general category, to unjustifiably hate their brothers /sisters from the reserved categories, who were only getting their due as per population entitlements.

India felt duty-bound to “establish” caste and this led the state to pursue the conflicting policies of social justices and caste-blindness. As a consequence, the privileged upper castes are enabled to think of themselves as ‘casteless’ while the disprivileged  lower caste are forced to intensify their caste identities. Today, society is split into two unequal and opposed sections. If India’s goal was really to annihilate caste, how did we lose our way and reach castelessness?

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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