Source, for title Image: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-35914718
My question: To what degree are jobs still dictated by caste in Indian societies, even though it is outlawed and what are those jobs that are dictated by caste,
The caste system was a horrible system that controlled citizens way of life in India for a large amount of time. Citizens were broken up into 5 major groups and there respect and jobs were based on there standing in this hierarchy. Even though the caste system is outlawed at this point in history does it still have an impact on India? Does this impact still have to do with jobs and respect?
When first starting my research I expected to find that India would be rooted in its old ways. I thought that low caste groups such as Dalits (untouchables) and Sudras would not have access to jobs. This is because the caste system was such as major part of society in India for so long, so I believed that it would continue to have the same effect of hurting low caste groups, even after it was outlawed.
India's Untouchables http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/02/03/india.new.religion/
I found out that instead the government of India realized the wrongs of the caste system. Therefore they created a term called backwards class. These backward classes have access to reparations, quotas and most importantly government jobs.
A mostly prosperous caste group called the Jats were greatly angered that the lower caste groups were getting these governmental jobs. Their argument is that 1 million young people venture out into the non-agriculture market only to not get a job each month. Therefore these young people have to resort to crime to afford their necessities and support their family. Due to this the Jats want to be deemed as a backwards class.
Jats protesting http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/backward-march-what-the-jats-want/
The Jats believe that there actions are justified because Modi does not have the power to create jobs which he had promised. Therefore they have taken the matter into there own hands. The violent protests by the Jats help explains why this issue is important to the U.S. First of all violence normally finds itself on the news. Secondly this issue helps highlight that the legacy of ancient India has not faded away and that castes are still highly important. What the government is doing for low caste groups should be called to attention because it is the right thing to do. Though groups such as the Jats can not let this go, instead of letting the idea of caste pass, they keep on reenforcing it, even if it is not there direct goal.
If the Jats succeed and become a backward class then it will take away many of the governmental jobs that low caste members currently have and it will greatly decrease the degree of jobs given to lower caste members.
Another very disheartening thing about the caste system is that even though it is outlawed, in all the news article that I used or read, groups were still referred to by there caste names. This just proves again that India can not let go of the idea of the caste system.
A Few Questions (Follow Up Questions)
- In the formal caste system, where exactly did the Jats fit?
- These protests and deaths that the Jats are causing is hurting there reputation but is this enough to make people take the side of untouchables and other low caste groups?
- How many groups, excluding the Jats, want to be backward classes?
- Is this demand for jobs actually helping increasing competition in India, helloing the economy?'
- What other groups believe that the low caste groups shouldn't have access to these government jobs and that instead it should be for other citizens like themselves?
In conclusion the caste system has left an ever lasting indent on India because as the caste systems proves itself, you can change the future but you can not change the past. As stated before this issue is important and a current event because it has to do with violence and it is an interesting story. Most would agree that low caste members deserve reparations for their and their ancestors troubles but the Jats bring up the more practical point of people needing jobs and that if they don't get them they will resort to crime. This issue is highly important to seeing if the Jats are deemed a backward class too because if they are it just reenforces the idea that there is no respect for low caste members because the only thing going for them at this moment is there backward class status.