Institutionalization of Caste in Indian Culture: A Pandora Box
Keywords:Caste, Varna, Culture, Division of labor, Vedic culture, Transcendence
AbstractCaste as a social system has always been in limelight for those who made effort to understand the Hindu culture, and often vaguely interpreted due to its complexity and genesis. Caste is expansion of Varna due to further development of social needs. However, they both are different things. The article focuses on the influence of various cultural elements and concurrent process happened in course of time which propelled to emerge a system that became a reality and has been affecting the Indian social setup positively and negatively both respects. Indian society is divided into several castes and groups. Each Caste group is distinctive than the others and reflects in various ways such as life style, thinking process, professional choice as well as social behavior etc. Indeed, caste system is a social institution full with unique reality and as an institution with hierarchy giving professional choice for those living in it as part. It concludes that Caste is a professional group with homothallic properties and an expansion of the Varna system. And its structure can be seen as homotaxis with elements of Vedic culture, which has been strongly influencing. In course of time castes became a tool of discrimination of their own people. Due to modernization occupational competition increased and castes began to scatter but existing political process provided a platform to polarize the castes and also it has been used as a political weapon to influence power and authority in modern India.
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