Saturday, 26 October 2013

Caste, Class and Power

Interrelation between caste, class and power has been discussed by various sociologists in big way. Initially, it was considered that caste is class and power is defined on the basis of tradition and roles are spelt out by culture. Therefore, when Brahmins have control over ritual power, vaishayas have control over economic power and khsatriyas control the through might is right.
However Marxist scholar such as Dange considers that Brahmins were a caste which subsequently developed class status by performing rites, magic and ritual to ensure rain falls on time, fertility is induced into soil, wars are won. Therefore the economic and political roles of priestly class made them superior to others and they wield great power and advices were taken by princes from them.
Daniel Thorner considers that agrarian classes have strong social and cultural genesis. Maliks belong to upper caste and have close nexus with police, while kisans belong to artisan caste and dalits, tribes etc were mazdoors class and are voiceless.
M.N.Srinivas considers that relation between caste and class is based on the concept of power. Introducing the concept of New Avatar of Caste and Dominant class, he advocate that different castes and classes are coming together to capture state power. They went for sanskritisation, improved their position in ritual and secular hierarchy, and later they formed cohesive groups and parties using their caste status and mobilizing their caste people to capture power in PRIs, state assemblies.
Andre Beteille considers that relationship between the three is not harmonious as it was in past. Caste 1 is class 4 is power 3. There is a shift from harmonic to disharmonic relation in social structure of society. It can be attributed to modern education, migration, growth of caste free occupations in industrial towns.

In order to encapsulate, the relationship between three is dynamic which should be studied on distinctive basis. It is based on utility and convenience rather than ideology.

No comments:

Post a Comment