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THE CASTE SYSTEM IN INDIA AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

Arunoday Sana (S.P. Jain Institute of Management, Bombay)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 1 March 1993

4207

Abstract

Caste is the basic structural feature of Hindu society; all social scientists are agreed on this. Since Hinduism is generally recognised to be as much a social system as a religion, its social framework embodying caste rituals has governed the lives of the majority of Indians for hundreds of years. Having deep roots in tradition and enjoying sanction in all religious literature belonging to the pre‐British era, caste has been the dominant principle of social organisation since ancient times. In fact, barring the recent past, Hinduism has always been identified in the minds of most Indians with caste observances. Writes R.C. Zaehner: “…until a century or so ago the acceptance of the caste system was considered by the orthodox to be the sole effective criterion of whether one was or was not a Hindu. In matters of belief it mattered not at all whether one believed in one god or many, or not at all, nor did it much matter on how one interpreted ‘liberation’ or whether one rejected it outright so long as one fulfilled the duties prescribed for one's caste.”

Citation

Sana, A. (1993), "THE CASTE SYSTEM IN INDIA AND ITS CONSEQUENCES", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 13 No. 3/4, pp. 1-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb013170

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1993, MCB UP Limited

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