Despite being a caste ridden society, India has remarkable tradition of caste inter-dependence, which has kept it united for centuries. Discuss.

Published: February 19, 2017

Caste-interdependence is one of the most striking features of Indian society and to great extent, it has kept it united for centuries. The functional interdependence of castes arises manifests in several systems – Jajmani System for example, in which castes are linked with each other with multiple types of payments and obligations for the goods and services each caste produces and provides to other castes. This apart, there are other reasons also. Firstly, the caste traditions have pervaded the entire country, creating their uniform identity. Secondly, caste structure has preserved the age old social strata of the society, which has helped in giving continuity to the social life of the people. Thirdly, the division of labor has ensured that no single caste is self-sufficient and thus is dependent on other caste functionally for goods and services. Fourthly, despite of its rigidness, the caste system has been flexible enough to allow the rise of dominant by virtue of their economic and political clout and not necessarily out of caste purity. Moreover many groups have been incorporated into caste groups from time to time, which has given caste an over-arching presence.

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