Effecting Caste System and Social Mobility

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According to Rousseau, the only way for a human to live peacefully and secure their self-preservation is by uniting and forming a contract, thus, collectively living in a society. However, the concept of society has given birth to various systems like caste system, class, race, creed etc. In the turn of events, this conceptualization has given rise to notions like discrimination and inequality under which the ideology of racism, caste system etcetera exists. The caste system is the social hierarchy of people in society brought about by the religion and occupation people engaged themselves in. The fluidity in the social institution of caste, which is brought about by the acquisition of economic wealth and a consequent shift in the social position led to people engaging in social mobility. It was sought as a way to attain power and more wealth and have an active role in society by voicing their opinion.(Stein,1968) The caste system and social mobility has given its way to inequality and created more difference between communities. The system of social mobility and caste system has influenced many spheres in the nation especially the political sphere. The political space, being affected by the caste system, has stoked up many positive and negative outcomes to the approach towards the development of the country and led to various conjectures among the people doubting the authenticity of intention of the government. In the rise of agitation and riots in the nation, it is important to get to the bottom of its cause and unravel the cause..

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The paper will be looking at the causal relationship between the social strata like the caste system and social mobility in class and caste, and the political sphere of the nation. To explain the relationship, the paper will be looking at the various manifestation and policies made or enacted by the government in the history of politics on India and how was it influenced by the systems of social mobility and the caste system. The essay will analyse the political situation of the nation by flowing in the manner described below:

1) Paul Alexander Rækstad interpretation of Adam Smith’s views on Class and State in the Political theory. Through this theory, it will enhance the understanding of the root of the inequality and the need of government in the state by bringing the critical view of Karl Marx into the picture.

2) By creating a distinction between caste system and class by incorporating Jayantanuja Bandyopadhyaya and B.R. Ambedkar views on it.

3) Further on the essay will point out to the various events, such as Reservation and vote bank politics etc, in the history of politics of India and how has it led to the formation of various conjectures from various communities which, therefore, led to the detriment in the society.

4) Exploring various tangents of the policies enacted by the government in need to address social mobility and the root causes of the various controversies caused..

Value: The essay will serve to understand the effects of the caste system and social mobility has had on the social and political sphere in the nation. It will be, furthermore, accommodating the readers with the nuances of politics by exploring the different tangents about how the caste system and social mobility has affected the political sphere by analyzing both sides of the coins of the policies and initiative brought about by the government. It also aims to understand the reason behind why the notion of ‘inequality’ is not able to diminish and how the approach towards it is only increasing that notion in our society.

Literature Review

This paper will look into analysing the caste-based political ideas through the socio-economic lens by incorporating views of different philosophers. This thesis will discuss the problems in India and the way the government is tackling it by connecting it with Smith’s theory. Adam Smith’s theory of Class and State in politics and his commentary on inequality is very vital to this thesis as it is contrasted with the government welfare policies conjectured to be brought to serve their own needs. On the aspect of social stratification, Adam Smith expresses his concern about the improvement of “lower ranks of people” and says that the servants, labourers, and workmen of different kinds make up the greater part of social society. He says no society could be happy and flourishing if its majority of the population aren’t well fed. The inequality created by the division of labor or in terms of wealth should be treated with policies to minimize the differences. Smith emphasizes on labors,which could be contrasted with backward classes in the modern era, being provided with proper clothing and food because better-rewarded labour will lead to prosperity of population and state. (Rækstad ,73)And this, in turn, will give them strength and hopes of bettering this condition. The labour class described by Smith could be considered as an analogy to people from backward communities such as SC, ST OBC etc and lower classes in the class system determined by occupation and wealth.

There seems to be an intricate relationship between class and caste system a lot of content under these two criteria’s tend to overlap and the paper will be critically looking at Jayantanuja Bandyopadhyaya, distinguished Marxist writer, views and differentiation of caste and class through Marxist eyes who states that “There is a caste structure within each class and a class structure within each caste.”( Bandyopadhayaya,4) The essay will subsume the views of B.R. Ambedkar on “Caste not merely a division of labour but a division of labourers” introduces to us one aspect of Caste and how it was looked as a creator of the notion of “inequality” by contrasting it with the French history and how it still prevails in India. (Guha, 204-227)

This essay will talk about the contemporary approach of political parties addressing inequality and attempting to diminish the social gap between the backward communities and the general category. The essay will be incorporating the creation of inequality in India and how it can be juxtaposed with Karl Marx view on social inequality and the socio-economic reason behind it in the book called Social Inequality.

One of the biggest reason for inequality is the disparity between the wealthy and the poor people. The essay draws on to Adam Smith and Karl Marx commentary on how and why the government is required to foster the healthy relationship between the wealthy and poor people. They come to a conclusion that there must be state or government agency to maintain it, this view of them is very essential in the essay to portray the need of such agencies and the prosperity of the nation. (Rækstad)

The behaviour of humans described by Hobbes and Rousseau, where the first motive of the men in the society is “self – preservation” and “ self- interest” as the same can be seen in the political world is embodied by the politicians.((Hobbes ,1651) ,( Rousseau ,1762)) The essay will explore the possibility of the underlying motive of politicians behind the measure taken to lessen the misery of particular section of people by studying the conjectures formed about the motive or behaviour using the studies of these philosophers about the behaviour of human being.

Drawing upon these discourses, the article will demonstrate that how the sphere of politics is influenced by these systems and how and why it hasn’t been able to bridge the gap existing in these social communities. It will also analyse the various approaches of the political party towards inequality and do in-depth scrutinizing about their demeanour and their underlying inducement to solve the issue – be it positive or negative.

Hypothesis: Caste system, class, and social mobility have served as an electoral tool in modern India and how has it disturbed the society and the political sphere, and led to the detriment of the political approach of the government to people.

Analysis of political parties motives under the influence of social strata

India, being a home to 132 billion people (United States Census Bureau), is home to thousands of religions, each having its own distinct feature and characteristics, and various cultures. India as a whole is divided into 29 states and 7 union territories which are governed by the central government, looking after the welfare of the nation, and subordinately each state has their own government to look after the concerns of people in the state. India, being one of the most diverse countries and home to thousands of different cultures and each having its own grandeur significance, has always needed strong and efficient government to protect the rights and serve the needs of everyone.

The role of government in India is one of the most scrutinized and controversial issues in India which makes it a very critical place which requires each action, for instance, actions like the enactment of laws, introduction of policies, and socio-initiatives, to be carried out vigilantly. There have been various opinions towards the intentions of the policies being brought by the political parties. In this piece of paper, it will address such issues under the following:

Sectarian Politics

Sectarianism stands for a form of politics in the political parties favours particular sect or religion by inducing policies which revolve around that particular community and, ultimately, leading to their development in the society. (Ziad Abu-Rish) This act can be seen through various acts and laws passed by the government in the history of India. Few such are:

Reservation based on Caste System: This motion was introduced in 1950 by B.R. Ambedkar to provide reservation to the backward class in jobs, school, hospitals etc. to uplift the status of the ostracized and backward communities such as SC, ST, and OBC. This motion was enacted only for the given period of time that is 10 years.(“Time to replace or end reservations”) But it still exists in modern India even though it’s been 60 years since that time period got over. This motion is cited as a form of sectarian politics and has incited a reaction from both sides of communities. According to a survey conducted by The Hindu, 64 % of the general category oppose the act of reservation whereas only 19% of SC oppose this act. There have been various conjectures that politicians see reservation by caste system as an advantage to lure the voters from the backward community for the covetousness of the seat.( Bhowmik , 1246–1248) . The essay will explore different tangents such as how it has disturbed the social and political sphere and caused several forms of controversies.

Vote Bank: With the definition of this term, the essay will explore several manifestations and policies enacted by the government to entice the people from particular communities for the lure of votes. It will also be explaining how it has led into inter-caste disparity and problem in the actualization of the policy.

Motion benefitting and focusing towards a particular community has given rise to several controversies disturbing the political situation of the nation. A fallacy of government can be seen as other communities felt overlooked after years of negligence by the government as the state did not address their issue and tried to lessen their misery. For example, one big episode in the history of India was the Gujjar movement in Rajasthan in which the Gujjar community revolted in want of reservation of seats for them as well, as they are also a minority.(IANS) The essay brings out the complexity in the political sphere where every move by the government is deeply scrutinized causing several opinionated views from every corner of the nation.

Social Mobility: Social mobility has had its root both in class (especially in class) and caste system and its existence in both the system is different. Social mobility started its root in the class system where people moved from one class to different class to bring about change in their wealth and social strata. Whereas Social mobility in caste system has been very restricted but has been given way through reservation in the field of education and government jobs.

Acts like Patidar reservation agitation and Gujjar movement has voiced out for the mobilization of people from their communities and be provided certain privileges from the government as they lie under the “minority” category.(Deshpande) The paper intends to address the events and through this, plans to find out the possible underlying stimulation in the minds of these communities to agitate for this cause.

The essay will also focus on the inequality created by the act of social mobility in class in the caste system and the caste in the class system and how it has led to change to ideologies between the people and given way to intra-caste disparity and changed the political ideology of the general public in the nation.


This essay brings forth the events stirred up in the political sphere and the underlying cause or motive for it. It also serve to explain how caste system and social mobility has disturbed the society and caused various tragic events which have been printed on the pages of history of India. Through the discussion and analysis, the paper intends to bring out the nuances of political parties and accommodates the reader with as many perspective as possible and leaves it to the reader to wonder whether the nation is moving one step closer to diminish ‘inequality’ or just widening the existing gap.

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Effecting Caste System And Social Mobility. (2021, Apr 07). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from

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