Emerging Trends in Indian Society in context to caste | religion etc.
Emerging trends in Indian society following are the emerging trends in Indian society:
The leaders of independent Indian decided that India will be a democratic, socialist and secular country. According to this policy, there is a separation between religion and state. Practicing untouchability or discriminating a person based on the basis of his caste is legally forbidden. Along with this law the government allows positive discrimination of the depressed classes of India. Indians have also become more flexible in their caste system customs.
In general, the urban people in India are less strict about caste system than the rural. In cities, one can see different caste people mingling with each other, while in some rural areas, there is still discrimination based on castes and sometimes also on untouchability. Sometimes, in villages or in the cities, there are violent clashes which are connected to caste tensions. Sometimes the high caste strike the lower castes who dare to uplift their status. Sometimes, the lower castes get back on the higher castes. In modern India, the term ‘caste’ is used for Jati and also for Varna.
The castes, which were the elite of the Indian society, were classified as high castes. Other communities were classified as lower castes or lower classes. The lower classes were listed in three categories–
- The first category is called Scheduled Castes. This category includes in it those communities who were untouchables. In modern India, untouchability exists at a very low extent. The untouchables call themselves Dalits, meaning depressed. Until the late 1980’s they were called Harijans, meaning children of God. This title was given to them by Mahatma Gandhi who wanted the society to accept untouchables within them.
- The second category is Scheduled Tribes. This category includes in it those communities who did not accept the caste system and preferred to reside deep in the jungle, forests and mountains of India, away from the main population. The Scheduled Tribes are also called Adivasis, meaning aboriginals.
- The third category is called Other Backward Classes or Backward Classes. This category includes in it those castes who belong to Sudra Varna and also former untouchables who converted from Hinduism to other religions. This category also includes in it nomads and tribes who made a living from criminal acts. According to the government policy, these three categories are entitled for positive discrimination. Sometimes, these three categories are defined together as Backward Classes. 15% of India’s population is Scheduled Castes. According to central government policy, 15% of the government jobs and 15% of the students admitted to universities must be from Scheduled Castes. For the Scheduled Tribes, about 7.5% places are reserved, which is their proportion in Indian population. The Other Backwards Classes are about 50% of India’s population but only 27% of government jobs are reserved for them.
Along with the central government, the state governments of India also follow a positive discrimination policy. Different states have different figures of communities entitled for positive discrimination based on the population of each state. Different state governments have different lists of communities entitled for positive discrimination. Sometimes, a specific community is entitled for rights in a particular state but not in another state of India. In modern India, new tensions were created because of these positive discrimination policies. The high caste communities feel discriminated by the government policy to reserve positions for the Backward Classes. In many cases, a large number of high caste members compete for a few places reserved for them. While the Backward Classes members do not have to compared to the candidates. Sometimes, in order to fill the quota, candidates from the lower classes are accepted even though they are not suitable. Sometimes, some reserved positions remain unmanned because there were few candidates from the lower classes causing more tension between the castes. Between the lower castes, there are also tensions over reservation. In the order of priority for a reserved place of the Backward Classes, candidate from the Scheduled castes is preferred over a candidate from the Scheduled Tribes, who is preferred over a candidate from the Other Backward Classes. Some Other Backward Classes communities are organizing politically to be recognized as Backward Classes entitled for positive discrimination. The caste identity has become a subject of political, social and legal interpretation. Communities who get listed as entitled for positive discrimination, do not get out of this list even if their social and political conditions get better. In many cases, the legal system is involved to decide if a certain person is entitled for positive discrimination. But, with all this positive discrimination policy, most of the communities who were low in the caste hierarchy remain low in the social order even today. And communities who were high in the social hierarchy remain even today high in the social hierarchy. Most of the degrading jobs are even today done by the Dalits, while the Brahmins remain at the top of the hierarchy by being the doctors, engineers and lawyers of India.
We are in a king of gap when we have got educators hanging on to traditional viewpoint of schools and others who are looking at 21st century education and preparing kids for the digital world. So, remove this gap principal and teachers must attend conference and network, it will continue to grow and will be helpful in bridging this generation gap. In this way students are prepared for the workplace that they are going to go in to.
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