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Politics in Caste

Politics too influences the caste system. Thus, it is not politics that gets caste ridden; it is the caste that gets politicised.

  • Each caste group tries to become bigger by adding within it neighbouring castes or sub-castes which were earlier excluded from it.
  • Various caste groups are required to enter into a coalition with other castes or communities. They enter into a dialogue and negotiation.
  • New kinds of caste groups have come up in the political arena like ‘backward’ and ‘forward’ caste groups.

Thus, caste plays different kinds of roles in politics. In some situations, expression of caste differences in politics gives many disadvantaged communities the space to demand their share of power. In this sense-caste politics has helped people from Dalits and OBC castes to gain better access to decision making. Several political and non-political organisations have been demanding and agitating for an end to discrimination against particular castes, for more dignity and more access to land, resources and opportunities.

Though all the aspects are true, we cannot accept every thing which is expected by people since it may be negative. In a democracy it is not very healthy to base politics on caste identity alone. In some cases tensions, conflict and even violence are caused by caste division.

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