Essay on Impact Of British Colonialism on the Indian Caste System

Essay on Impact Of British Colonialism on the Indian Caste System

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The caste system in India is elaborately structured to have an Indian touch to it, clearly distinguishing it from social structures worldwide. Caste is a word often used to describe a cluster of people who have a specific rank in the society. Each caste system is elaborately crafted to suit the needs of the society and they vary from group to group; each has its own rules and customs. Different chaste systems are planned in a hierarchical manner to become part of any of the four basic colors; varnas (a Sanskrit word for color). These include; the varna of Brahmans, identified with the learned class and priests; varna of Kshatriyas, which is encompasses warriors, rulers and property owners, the varna of Vaishyas, which attracts traders ; and lastly the varna of Shudras, who are servile laborers (Bayly, 1999).
The earliest manifestations of caste is traced from Vedas, which is a term used to refer to religious blockader in India. The Vedas were transmitted were traditionally passed down through oral literature before they were finally written down; they are considered as sources of ancient Indian wisdom. The Rig Veda which is the first of the Vedic books. It contains information about Purusa which is sacrificed to birth the four Varnas. His mouth was the Brahmin, Rajanya made the two arms (warrior, king and Kshatriya,), the Vaishya made the two loins and the Sudra (the servile class) was born from the feet (Bayly, 1999).
The current manifestations of the caste system are now far more generalized across the Indian subcontinent than was the case in former times. Caste as we now recognize has been endangered, shaped and perpetuated by comparatively recent political and social developments. This is evident even i...


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...ste, Colonialism and Counter-Modernity. Routledge, New York
Kuncheria C.J. (2010). In rapidly Modernizing India, Caste Fatally Lurks. (Retrieved March 13, 2014)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/05/06/us-india-caste-murder-idUSTRE64570K20100506
Nicholas B Dirks. (1989). The Invention of Caste: Civil Society in Colonial India: Social Analysis. The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice. No. 25, pp. 42-52
Nicholas B. Dirks. (2011). Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India. Princeton University Press
Radu Ban and Vijayendra. (2007). The Political Construction of Caste in South India. Working paper
Susan Bayly. (1999). Caste, Society and Politics in India: from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age. Cambridge University Press
Vithal Rajan. (2010). Dalits and the Caste System of India: Some Explorations and Conjectures.



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