Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1 | Caste Discrimination: IAS is a dream opportunity for all the people looking for a secure and reputed job with the responsibility of serving the nation. Union Public Services Commission conducted the IAS Prelims exam on 18 June 2017. The result is yet to be announced by UPSC board.
All the UPSC IAS aspirants are now preparing for IAS Mains 2017. The problem is that no matter how good & knowledgeable we think we are or how good we feel we have prepared for the exam there is always a certain level of uncertainty. To overcome this fear, we will be sharing Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1.
Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1 | Caste Discrimination
Today we will discuss the first Topic. Below mentioned is the explanation of the said topic.
Caste discrimination is caused by the caste system. Those born into the ‘lowest castes’, known across South Asia as Dalits, are treated as subhuman and ‘untouchable’, and members of other castes consider them impure and polluted. They are often forced to live, eat and work in segregation from the rest of society, and their basic human rights are severely restricted. Caste discrimination affects an estimated 260 million people worldwide, particularly in South Asia, but also in diaspora communities, Japan, Yemen and a number of African countries.
History of Caste System
The caste system in India is the paradigmatic ethnographic example of caste. It has origins in ancient India, and was transformed by various ruling elites in medieval, early-modern, and, modern India, especially the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. It is today the basis of educational and job reservations in India. It consists of two different concepts, varna and jati, which may be regarded as different levels of analysis of this system.
Caste systems involve the division of people into social groups (castes) where assignments of rights are determined by birth, are fixed and hereditary.
The assignment of basic rights among various castes is both unequal and hierarchical, with those at the top enjoying most rights coupled with least duties and those at the bottom performing most duties coupled with no rights.
The system is maintained through the rigid enforcement of social ostracism (a system of social and economic penalties) in the case of any deviations.
The age-old caste system is one of the main causes of social inequality in our country. It has contributed in keeping a large portion of the country’s population backward.
The caste system, basically a fourfold division of society into:
- Vaishya and
It was well entrenched by the end of the Rig Vedic period. The Vedic Caste System that was divided into four divisions is still prevalent in Indian Society.
The four Varnas (implying colour) of India developed out of very early Aryan class divisions. The stratification grew more rigid when a situation arose with a dominant “fair” minority striving to maintain its purity and its supremacy over a darker minority. Tribal class divisions hardened and the dark-skinned aboriginal found a place only in the basement of Aryan social structure. Even in the earliest hymns we read of ksatra, the nobility and the vis, the ordinary tribesmen. But the four classes — Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra were crystallizing throughout the Rig Vedic period.
In theory, the fourfold division was functional.
- The Brahmanas was to study and teach, sacrifice, give and teach, sacrifice, give and receive gifts,
- The Kshatriya to protect the people, sacrifice and study;
- The Vaishya to breed cattle till earth, pursue trade and lend money, though he too may study and sacrifice;
- The Sudra was to serve the other three classes. Gradually, the system became so deeply entrenched in the social structure that it continues to this day, though the rigidity is gradually being diluted.
Today even though, the caste system has been weakened, but it still has considerable power, particularly among the rural people. Thus, it has not been totally rooted out. We can put an end to this evil by spreading education and creating awareness among the people throughout the country. Let’s extend our helping hand in spreading education, as it is the only solution to most of our problems.