Stratification has its classification and caste system is one of those basic types. A society is stratified on many accounts but caste system gave total rights to upper-class people to put lower class people down and humiliate them.
CASTE AND ITS ORIGIN
Caste word is derived from a Spanish language and its meaning is breed in English. We will see caste practice mainly in Hindu religion because there is the broad division of castes in India, total 2800 castes in India. Caste has played a vital role in making many crucial decisions at the time and hence played as an important social institution. According to researchers, it has been found that Aryans from central Asia ruled over South Asia and introduced the concept of the Caste system to control population, thus dividing people into different categories.
CASTE SYSTEM IN INDIA
In India, caste was firstly classified into four types according to Chaturvarna system. Chaturvarna system is a Sanskrit term which means four kinds of color. The four types are as follows
- Brahmins– They have been most overrated peoples from the ancient times. They have been even worshipped by other caste people. It gave them the authority to be most powerful people in society. Some of the Brahmins humiliated other caste people. For example, they stopped Shudras to enter temples by giving logics that they are not appropriate people to worship God. They were mostly priests by occupation but nowadays it is not necessary for a Brahmin to be a priest.
- Kshatriyas- They were mainly kings who ruled states and were seen majorly in battles securing their kingdom. They can be seen as leaders of a particular place and they also gave a massive amount of respect to Brahmins.
- Vaishyas– They were merchants and businessman by profession. They were seen lower to Brahmins and Kshatriyas. Their economic condition was although much better than Brahmins but it was not considered as the basis of varna division.
- Shudras- They were also called as Mushars in ancient times and were bounded to not enter temples or wells. Their existence was considered impure by many people thus they were banned at many places.
This was the scenario of Ancient India but coming to present time this Varna system has been abolished and now people are not boycotted anywhere. Now there are three categories which do not account for any kind of superiority regarding caste. The categories are as follows:-
This kind of stratification was mainly discouraged by an anthropologist B.R. Ambedkar who had seen indifferent attitude from a tender age. He demanded the reasons and also made some of the reservation acts for the community which has seen the worst from the beginning. But coming to the today’s scenario reservation system is eating our society as well. For example, a general student getting 120 marks in mains is not qualified for the advanced exam but a SC/ST candidate getting 50 marks can sit for the advanced exam. This kind of selection based on caste but merit kills the overall growth our society. The reservation act was made to boost the oppressed communities but now when a there condition is well enough, giving them benefits of act again make our society caste stratified and assures ascribed status more than achieved status.
SOCIOLOGIST VIEW ON CASTE SYSTEM
- Ghurne depicted caste as a complicated phenomenon and inferred that its definition cannot be put in words.
- Maclver and Page gave a theory that a person birth cannot be controlled and it is his ascribed status which cannot be changed by any factor.
- According to Cooley status is a factor of family and the family in which a man is born can be called his caste.
- Risley believed that caste is an integration of some people who belong to a same family by the title, also can be depicted as coming from the common ancestor and later on forming a community which can be called as their caste too.
- Durmont also gave his perspective stating that caste is mainly religion driven fact and the people of same level be it economy, same culture and religion come together and forms a caste.