Unit-22 Party System and Elections in India

Unit-22 Party System and Elections in India - UNIT 22 CASTE...

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UNIT 22 CASTE, CLASS AND POLITICS IN INDIA Structure 22.0 Objectives 22.1 Introduction 22.2 What is Caste? 22.3 Main Features of Caste 22.4 Dynamic Relationship 22.5 Regional Variations 22.6 Caste and Class 22.7 Stratification within Caste 22.8 Pressure Group: Caste Association 22.9 Political Parties 22.10 Caste in Voting Behaviour 22.1 1 Let Us Sum Up 22.12 Some Useful Books 22.13 Answers to Clieck Your Progress Exercises 22.0 OBJECTIVES Tlie purpose of this unit is to acquaint you with (a) nature and role of caste in Indian politics and (b) in tlie process how both caste and politics undergo changes. After going till-ough this unit, you should be able to understand: To wliat extent and in wliat ways caste influerices politics; Interrelationship between caste and politics; and How politics irifluences caste. 22.1 INTRODUCTION Theoretically speaking caste and democratic political system stand for opposite value systems. Caste is hierarchical. Status of an individual in caste-oriented social system is determined by birth. It has religious sanction by various holy texts, reinforced by priests and rituals. Traditionally, upper castes enjoy certain privileges not only in religious sphere but also in economic, education and political spheres. Customary laws differentiate individual by birth and sex. 'That is, certain rules are harsli to women and Shudras and soft to males and Brahmins. On the otlier hand, democratic political system advocates freedom to an individual and equality of status. It stands for rule of Law. No one irrespective of status is above law. Indian democratic system under tlie Constitution stands for liberty, equality and fraternity among all citizens. It strives to build egalitarian social order. However, politics notwithstanding the ideals in any society does not function in vacuum. It operates within social milieu. Therefore, it cannot be devoid of the prevailing social forces. At societal level, politics is related to struggle for and distributio~i of political power and resources. One of tlie importa~it functions of politics is to govern society. ~his'calls for resolving conflict among various interests. It identifies needs of society at a given point of time. Needs are prioritised: what is important and immediate to attain and wliat can wait. In order to meet the needs of society, nature of production system has to be decided - whether tlie factories, farms or mines are owned privately
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Party System and Elections in lndin by individual for profit or they be owned and managed by colnmunity or state or combinatiol~ of the both. For tliat rules are made and executed. In sliort wlio gets what, when and how iri society is the central concerli of politics. Though such, decisions are taken by the state, people get involved in decision making process in democratic system. They elect their rulers. While electing their representatives people express tlieir material and non-material needs, expectatiolis and aspirations for today and tomorrow. Their expectations are for themselves and also for commuliity - immediate primordial group, caste and larger society that iliclude region, and country.
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This note was uploaded on 03/13/2012 for the course IR 101 taught by Professor Harfancoofers during the Spring '12 term at Sunway University College.

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Unit-22 Party System and Elections in India - UNIT 22 CASTE...

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