What is the role of caste in Indian politics?

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Caste by participating in the modern po­litical system is now exposed to divisive influences and a new form of integration resulting form a new scheme of universalist-particularist relationships.

Caste provides to politics on the one hand a structure of divisions and accommodations and on the other hand a cohesive element which absorbs tensions and frustrations.

Castes are able to influence each other to bar­gain for powers. The formation role of caste asso­ciations are also playing as important role in in­fluencing voting behaviour. Even political par­ties are considering caste as a vote bank. This en­abled the lower castes to be politically influential on the basis of numerical preponderance.

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In selecting candidates for elections, politi­cal parties often giving consideration to the caste composition of the constituencies. Sometimes sev­eral castes are using politics in their attempt to better their conditions or to achieve their goals.

The mobilization of caste votes by caste lead­ers in all the States has become common. But, caste is not alone is the key factor in the voting behav­ior. Personal loyalty, ideological orientation, regional identifications are also influencing.

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