Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Essay on Caste politics in India has succeeded. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Essay on Caste politics in India has succeeded. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Essay on Caste politics in India
The Constitution of India declares the country as sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republic. It assures its citizens of justice, equality and liberty, and endeavors to promote fraternity among them irrespective of caste, creed and religion. But caste, creed and religion are an important aspect of political and social system of the country. Caste politics in India has been prevalent since long time past. It is a worldwide fact that India is badly ridden with caste politics. It was assumed that differentiation on the basis of caste will vanish after independence, but it still makes its presence felt in different parts of the country. Even though our Constitution doesn't allow for it and discrimination on the basis of caste and creed is punishable under law, it is still prevalent and with the passage of time it has undoubtedly been established that caste has not ceased to play its part. It plays a significant role in politics at local level, less in state and lesser at the national level. However, its hold can be seen and felt at all these levels. 

It can rightly be said that caste politics in India has succeeded. It has touched states bordering all the corners of the country. Today, there is no state left which is untouched with the influence of caste. In some states the hold of caste is more while in others a little less. It has been noticed that caste is taking a toll on the political system of the country with people voting the candidate belonging to their caste irrespective of his credibility as a leader and politician. Even the political parties are considering caste while choosing candidates for contesting elections in certain constituencies. Caste considerations are potent in elections at the panchayat and municipality level. The citizens of the country cast their vote on the basis of this system assuming that their caste will be benefitted in some or the other way. 

In India, the castes are broadly classified as forward castes or upper caste, Other Backward class (OBC), Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled tribes (ST). Muslims and Christians are also considered as different castes. Lower castes have various privileges attached to them and to avail these benefits several castes demand a lower rank. Caste has played a huge role in political arena and other government run institutions like judicial system and police in order to remove the boundaries between 'civil society' and 'political society'. The position of caste in these system plays an important role in determining their worth and say in the system. If a lower caste were grouped in one area particularly, they could challenge the locally dominant upper castes. Thus, their bifurcation is almost along the hierarchy throughout the system. In the power dynamics of caste in the politics, gender also plays a pivotal role. Socially liberal women from forward caste are more participative and active than women of lower castes. They are found to occupy political office of significance. This hierarchy of caste and its role in politics has created a caste inflicted society which is rigid in structure. Corruption is a side effect of caste politics in India. Politicians often bribe their caste and indulge in practice of vote banking, wherein people of the same caste vote for the candidate belonging to their caste. Role of castes in Indian elections have been overplayed over the years. 

Caste politics is not only prevalent in the north, but has shades of deeper hues in the south. States of Rajasthan has dominance of Rajputs. In the state of Kerala, Nayar and Izhavas influence the political scenario of the state with well developed organizations and associations backing them. In Orissa, Bhumihars, Kayastha and Rajputs play politics in bringing forth the candidates belonging to their caste. Higher influence of caste politics is experienced in the state of Andhra Pradesh where the two dominant castes- the Kammas and the Reddy's fight to show their dominance in the state. Bihar has four castes the Rajputs, the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, Yadays, Kurmis, and the Adivasis which favor them to the level that their support also varies according to the election parties. The Rajputs there support Janata Party and Janata Dal. The Kayasthas and Brahmins are fighting against each other for getting power and position in the ministry making process. The Adivasis have got separated from the state and constituted the state of Jharkhand. Important castes in the state of Maharashtra are the Marathas, the Brahmins and the Mahars who fight for political power against the caste lines. The fact the caste politics exists in Karnataka can be understood from the truth that personal staff of the ministers belongs to the caste to which they belong to. The ordeal that caste exists in politics in India at a very deeper level cannot be subsided. 

However, the influence of caste has started to decline in the contemporary India, though at a very slow pace. The main reason is the spread of education to all the castes which has had a democratizing effect on the political system. People are more awakened and have started to elect the person on the basis of their credibility, the work he/she has done and his educational background. But this is a long race which needs full conviction from the political system and the citizens of the country, if they want to ward off this evil. It is to be understood that reservations on the basis of the caste strengthens caste politics, instead of weakening the caste system. No seats in government organizations should be reserved for any caste. All shall be considered equal. It is high time that the political parties in India start standing up against this weed. Only then, India will be able to succeed. Caste system in politics is like cancer which is growing by day. If not stopped now, then future generations will have to bear its consequences too.

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