General Studies Mains-2014 Paper-4 (Ethics and Integrity) Answer : Q-6-A

What factors affect the formation of a person’s attitude towards social problems? In our society, contrasting attitudes are prevalent about many social problems. What contrasting attitudes do you notice about the caste system in our society? How do you explain the existence of these contrasting attitudes?

One’s upbringing, beliefs and practises of their family and close ones, widely prevalent practices in society etc. all affect the formation of a person’s attitude towards social problems. At times, if we witness first hand someone’s societal problems or know someone who has gone through such problems, it helps us relate, sympathise, and develop a deeper understanding of the nature of the social problem.

Our society does exhibit contrasting attitudes towards the complex caste system in india. We do not completely conform to the old ways of strictly adhering to caste identities, but neither are we completely free of caste identities. Though in a majority of activities, caste is of no consequence, it does rear its ugly head at times. For instance, in earlier days, people of different castes would never eat together. However, no such practice is followed in today’s restaurants and even in the homes of people. The sheer inconvenience that the continuance of such a practice would cause led to its being phased out. However, when issues such as marriage come up, caste still plays a very important role. Even though many people don’t discriminate on the basis of caste, they still consider caste important enough for the purposes of marriage.