India And The Caste System Essay

5657 WordsApr 26, 201223 Pages
INTRODUCTION India has received the distinction of being a home for all the major religions of the world. It is for this reason that it is often described as a “land of religious toleration”. Many of Ancient-Indian sacred texts and works on polity, references to which have been made hereinafter in this paper are outstanding documents on religious toleration. Indeed most of the Indian rulers followed a unique policy of aiding all religions. Muslim rule in India during the medieval period was far more enlightened than Muslim rule elsewhere. A noteworthy effect of Muslim rule was the emergence of new synthesis of Hindu and Muslim doctrines. There is a very close connection of caste with the Hindu philosophy, religion, custom, family morals, traditions, manners, habits, occupations, food and dress habits. It has been a deep rooted and long lasting social institution in India and has withstood the onslaughts of time. With the establishment of the British-rule, India came in contact with secular ideas and thoughts of the west. Attempts were made to harmonise western doctrines and concepts with that of India. The liberal and democratic movement of the west strengthened Indian secular trends. India is most often labelled as the world’s largest democracy; with a controlling, protective and progressive constitution; a legal system designed to tackle, punish and control the discriminatory acts based on the caste; programs based on affirmative action that include mandate for reservations; an over-abundance of caste-conscious measures designed to ensure upliftment of the backwards; and a campaign to fuel India’s economic growth through the means of aggressive economic liberalization. Classes are prevalent in every society but the caste system found in India is unique. The constitution of India has no reference to sacred scripture, Brahmans, shudras, gods, or concepts of

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