Short essay on the Caste system in modern perspective (India)

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It is particularly interesting to study its implications on politics.

Politics is a competitive enterprise, its purpose is the acquisition of power for the realization of certain goods and its process is one of identifying order to mobilize and consolidate position.

Caste as a fundamental aspect of the social structure of India and the economic foundation upon which it is based, is a major para-metric variable of the Indian political system.

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In the opinion of many thinkers, castes are assuming new functions like influencing politics and their role on political dynamics is gradually increasing. It is almost playing the role of an elective interest or pressure group at various levels of the discussion making apparatus.

The relationship between caste and politics reveals the politicized nature of caste in Indian politics.

(1) Caste provides an extensive basis for organization of democratic politics in a society such as India where caste remains the principal basis of social organization and activity.

(2) Caste is used more extensively in mobilizing support in rural than urban areas.

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(3) Political parties find it easier to mobilize support directly from the members of a caste community by appealing to them.

(4) The present political system itself encourages or inhibits the use of caste as a means of breeding followers.

(5) Caste enables the illiterate and politically ignorant masses of India to participate in the modern democratic process.

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