Social Institutions: Continuity And Change

Social Institutions: Continuity And Change

Question

What changes did colonialism bring about in the caste system?

Answer

Changes in the caste system doing colonialisation

(i) The British government conducted decennial census from 1881 onwards in which caste based data were collected separately.

(ii) The census conducted under the direction of Herbert Risley in 1901 CE sought to collect information on the social hierarchy of caste i.e. position of each caste in the rank or order.

(iii) Representatives of different castes addressed hundreds of petitions to the Census commissioner in order to enlist them on a higher position on hierarchy of caste system. Prior to that people were reluctant to their castes.

(iv) Upper castes were given preference in the land revenue settlements and related arrangements under British Government.

(v) The Government of India Act. 1935 was passed to give legal recognition to the schedules (list) of castes and tribes marked out for special treatment by the state. From here, the terms scheduled castes and scheduled tribe came into being and subsequently, given place in Constitution of independent India.

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