Importance of the caste system in the Indian Education Introduction to Asian Philosophy ICHM 107, Semester 3, 2017-18 Palak Sharma 6080123 Mr. Joel Littler
India’s caste system created around 1200 BCE (The Caste System of India. (n.d.) still exists in its education system. Reservations are set for different castes and this system is known as the reservation system. Firstly, I’ll talk about what is a caste system and how it actually started. Then, I’ll move on to education of India under the British rule and their views on the caste system. Next, I’ll talk about the quotas assigned to the different castes and how it affects the future life of these people, castes decide their future. Moreover, I’ll talk about the effectiveness of this reservation system. Lastly, I’ll be talking about actions that were taken against this caste system and how India is right now. In conclusion, I’ll talk about caste reservation system is so complex and has led through many protests throughout the years because upper castes fear the lower castes and don’t want to give up their advantages. According to Hindu concept, people are different and they are categorized into four different groups, which are called varna. The last ones are known as ‘Dalits’ or the ‘outcastes’ (Philosophy.lander.edu, n.d.). Caste system means the groups assigned to you since birth. Every group is assigned to a certain occupation and it determines your access to wealth, privilege, and power (Deshpande, 2010). Freedom from this classification is next to impossible. Caste system existed since 1200 BCE and the word caste comes from a Portuguese word called ‘casta’, which means "race", "breed", or "lineage"(Schwenz, n.d.). As stated in the Rg Veda, the world was formed when Purusa sacrificed himself and different parts of his body represented the different castes. Brahmans are the highest caste and they were created by his mouth (The Caste System of India, n.d). Brahmans are usually the priests (Deshpande, 2010). They perform rituals to achieve sacrifices. Ksatriyas were created by his hands (The Caste System of India, n.d.) hence, they are the warriors. They have the physical and martial strength (Smith, 1994). They pay the Brahmans to do the rituals. Vaishyas came from his thighs (The Caste System of India, n.d.), they were the
merchants. Their duty was to do agriculture in order to prosper the community (Deshpande, 2010). Shudras came from the feet (The Caste System of India, n.d.). The last are the outcastes or the “untouchables”. They perform occupations which are seen as unclean such as scavenging (Deshpande, 2010). British people have a fairly consistent view of the Indian caste system. According to them, no matter how upstanding the man is in their daily life but they won’t be able to increase in societal regard due to the caste system. Moreover, according to British perspective, the Indians could only decrease in their worthiness if they violated caste principles, become polluted, or were polluted by other castes. When British first started ruling India, they were huge employers
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