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Although India is a political democracy, there is a highrarecal caste system

deeply rooted into the society, whether in the North or the South, Hindu or
Muslim and urban or village. This system exists between the extremes of very
high and very low castes almost in every community. The caste system was
evolved as India’s ancient civilizations, absorbed the Nomadic Aryan
population who crossed from central Asia to northern Asia. The four castes
developed out of necessity with its own social order, moral and ritual quotes.
The word caste comes from Portuguese word ‘Casta’ (breed or race). The
Sanskrit word applied to the groupings in ‘Varna’ which often interpreted the
color. As per ‘Mahabharata’, if different colors indicate different castes, then all
castes are mixed castes. The Hindus also believe that the ‘Varna’ of a man is
determined by his profession and deeds and not by his birth. Traditionally, the
political powers lay with Chatriyas. Brahmins were custodian of dharma. The
Vaishyas were given trade and economy whereas, shudras were service
providers. The caste did not constitutes a rigid description of occupation or the
social status but the Britisher’s attempted to equate the Indian caste system to
their own colonial caste system since the British society was divided by class.
Britishers further codified the caste system in India and made it more rigid. A
section of sociologists agree that the caste system had several advantages
too; it served as an important instrument of social order where mutual consent
rather than compulsion ruled. The caste system played an important role in
shaping economic activities in Indian society. The fluidity of caste system was
affected by the arrival of British policy of divide and rule. Also, the rigid
categorization of population contributed towards the hardening of caste
identities. In semi rural areas and small towns, the caste system is still very
rigid. Caste is also a very important factor in the politics of India. After
independence, the government has officially documented castes and sub-
castes, primarily to determine reservation in education and jobs through
census. The Indian reservation system relies entirely on quotas which consist
of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward castes. This system
has brought to a great extent the dalits and other castes to socially and
economically equal status. However, the caste based reservations in India
have also led to widespread protests due to reverse discrimination against the
forward caste. Also the caste based politics in India has created various
differences amongst the social forces. With a passage of six-decades after
independence, the caste based discrimination in our country has been
addressed to some extent but there is still enough scope to bridge the inter-
caste gaps in the society. The economic and social equality, globalization,
extensive education, youth empowerment and social organizations have
contributed a great deal in mellowing down the deeply rooted caste based
discrimination in our country. In this situation, the politicians have got great role
to reform the society by not concentrating on caste-based politics,
appeasement and discrimination being it unhealthy to Indian Society.