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Social Stratification in India - Coursework Example

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The paper “Social Stratification in India” investigates the echoes of the caste system in India, citing as an example the success stories of people who, despite the environment’s resistance, were able to overcome this invisible barrier and rise in the public hierarchy having opened their business.
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Social Stratification in India
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Download file to see previous pages The reality shows that the caste system’s discriminatory practices in India are present up to now (Sankaran). The law, for instance, shows bias for upper-caste members. Madras high court's acquitted 23 upper-caste landowners who burned 43 Dalits, also called Untouchables, in their huts until they all died (Datta-Ray). The dead included men, women, and children (Datta-Ray).
Lower-caste people continue to report discrimination in the everyday community and workplace experiences too (Giridharadas). The paper describes and analyzes the underlying cultural and ideological systems that impact the maintenance of caste in India. Social stratification in India is based on Brahmanical orthodoxy and reinforced by the hierarchical socio-economic culture of India and the social classes who have psychological essentialism embedded in their mindsets toward social class distinctions. Despite the deep-seated ideological roots of caste, a number of lower caste members are questioning and challenging the system through changing their social grouping economically and culturally, although discrimination is a large obstacle that threatens their faster spreading across Indian society.
The caste system is embedded in India’s culture for around 1,500 years now, in accordance with Brahmanical orthodoxy and Indian culture. Brahmanical orthodoxy is part of the Hindu thinking (Clooney 4). The caste system has a simple rule: “All men are created unequal” (O’Neill 2). Social class ranking in Hindu system is based on Brahmanical legend where an ancient being created the main social class groups or varnas. The legend says that the Brahmans, or the highest caste group, came from the mouth of the being; the Kshatriyas, rulers and soldiers, developed from its arms; the thighs produced the Vaisyas, merchants, and traders; while the feet were the source of the Sudras, the laborers. Every varna is further subdivided into hundreds of groupings of hereditary castes and subcastes, or jatis (subdivisions), where hereditary means that the caste group is handed from one generation to the next by blood, and subcastes mean that, even among the lower caste members, there are upper and lower class members too. The fifth group is called achuta/dalits, or untouchable. The ancient being was believed to not claim them as part of itself. The first three varnas are said to be “twice-born” based on their beliefs in reincarnation (Clooney 7). The Brahmans have enjoyed the benefits of being part of the upper class for many centuries.
In India, untouchables are social outcasts, where other social groups see them as too polluted that they cannot be seen as human beings. Their society sees them as too impure that they cannot enter temples and upper caste houses, and they can only use separate utensils in public places (Raheja 500). They cannot also use certain streets and cannot use the same wells that upper-class members are using. Untouchables are vulnerable to insult and abuse, while some upper-class members even rape, burn, or lynch them to death. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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