Day 22 – Q.2 Discuss the political and social effects of caste based movements in post independence India. Do you think the prevalence of caste system has weakened the social fabric in India? Critically examine. 

  • IASbaba
  • December 19, 2022
  • 0
GS 1, Indian History & Post-Independence, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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Discuss the political and social effects of caste based movements in post independence India. Do you think the prevalence of caste system has weakened the social fabric in India? Critically examine. 

स्वातंत्र्योत्तर भारत में जाति आधारित आंदोलनों के राजनीतिक और सामाजिक प्रभावों की चर्चा कीजिए। क्या आपको लगता है कि जाति व्यवस्था के प्रसार ने भारत में सामाजिक ताने-बाने को कमजोर कर दिया है? समालोचनात्मक जाँच कीजिए।

Approach – 

In this question  candidates are expected to write about political and social effects of caste based movements in post independence India. Also write about does caste system weakened social fabric in India. examine It critically .

Introduction –

Caste based movements are basically a social revolution aimed for social change, replacing the age old hierarchical Indian society, and is based on the democratic ideals of liberty, equality and social justice.

Body –

Social effects of caste based movements in India –

  • After Independence,India’s new constitution identified groups of former Untouchables as “scheduled castes,” singling them out for consideration and government assistance.
  • The constituent assembly mandated with the function to draft the constitution of independent India adopted the Constitution based on the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
  • The real idea behind the said ideals was to create an egalitarian society where discrimination in any form be denounced and the state would aspire to create an empowered society free from any such discrimination.
  • Indian constitution provided constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individuals. On the bedrock of fundamental rights constitution provided for the abolition of untouchability, and discrimination based on caste, race, gender and place of birth.
  • extensive economic and social rights for disadvantaged sections, and also won the Assembly’s support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs in the civil services, schools and colleges for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, a system akin to affirmative action.
  • Due to various affirmative action policies, legal reforms, political awareness, social movements, industrialization, urbanization, and economic growth, the caste system has undergone a drastic change in the era of modernity and market economy.
  • Occupational hierarchy too has significantly changed except priesthood and cleaning sewer and skinning dead animals.
  • Upper caste people are today doing all the jobs which are opposite to their caste status.
  • Due to the positive discrimination policy (reservation policy) in jobs and education, members of the Dalit community are no longer considered impure or polluted in an organization.
  • Inter-caste marriages among educated Indians, especially in urban areas, are increasing day-by-day.
  • The spread of quality education, availability of jobs and new economic opportunities have changed many things.
  • The thinking and social behaviour of the generation born after 1990 have undergone a significant change.

Political effects of caste based movements in India-

  • We have witnessed an utterly unexpected trend in this era it was the violent agitations, to press for the demand for reservation in jobs and education by those not lower or oppressed castes.Instead, they have been socially influential and economically well-off castes.
  • These castes are Gujjars of Rajasthan, Jats of Haryana, Marathas of Maharashtra, Patidars/ Patels of Gujrat and Lingayats of Karnataka.
  • Apart from the caste polarization for political gain, some factors seem active behind the above-said demand.
  • In this scenario, it would not be incorrect to say that the affirmative action aimed to bring socioeconomic parity has become more of a tool to grab power.
  • caste provided an extensive basis for organization of democratic politics. Caste identity and solidarity became primary channel through which electoral and political support is mobilized.
  • Political parties find it easier to mobilize support directly from a member of caste community by appealing.
  • The political system encourage the use of caste as a means f breeding followers.
  • Caste enabled the illiterate and ignorant to politically participate in democratic process.

Positives of caste system –

  • Although caste system in past provided some benefits like ,It has handed over the knowledge and skills of the hereditary occupation of a caste from one generation to another, which has helped the preservation of culture and ensured productivity.
  • It plays a crucial role in the process of socialization by teaching individuals the culture and traditions, values and norms of their society.But by and large caste system have weakened the social fabric of india .

Negatives of caste system –

  • The caste system is a check on economic and intellectual advancement and a great stumbling block in the way of social reforms because it keeps economic and intellectual opportunities confined to a certain section of the population only.
  • It undermines the efficiency of labour and prevents perfect mobility of labour, capital and productive effort
  • It perpetuates the exploitation of the economically weaker and socially inferior castes, especially the untouchables.
  • It has inflicted untold hardships on women through its insistence on practices like child-marriage, prohibition of widow-remarriage, seclusion of women etc.
  • It has stood in the way of national and collective consciousness and proved to be a disintegrating rather than an integrating factor.
  • It has given scope for religious conversion. The lower caste people are getting converted into Islam and Christianity due to the tyranny of the upper


It is high time for the Indian society to get out of caste hierarchy and eradicate all forms of visible or invisible discrimination’s and consider all social groups equal in real sense. To thrive as a vibrant democracy and an emerging economic power will be much depends on how far Indian society embraces equality, fraternity and harmony.

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