Social Institutions: Continuity And Change

Social Institutions: Continuity And Change

Question

Discuss the terms "Sanskritisation" and "Dominant Caste" coined by M.N. Srinivas.

Answer
Sanskritisation is a process whereby members of a caste (usually middle or lower castes) attempt to raise their own social status by adopting the ritual, domestic and social practices of a caste of higher status. It is also called a process of purgation. It is still prevailing in Indian society.

The practices include adopting vegetarianism, wearing of sacred thread, performance of specific prayers and religious ceremonies.

Dominant Caste is a term used to refer to castes having a large population and granted land rights by the partial land reforms effected after independence. These were lands earlier owned by the absentee landlords who used to do no farming operation except charge rent on their lands and settled in cities. The mangers of their lands were so sanctioned land rights. Those were intermediate castes who used to get agriculture done by untouchable castes. These became economically strong enough when rights on land under their management were provided with them. Thus, being in large numbers they also became legislators i.e. M.P. MLAs etc. These are called dominant castes. For an instance, Yadav of Bihar and U.P., Vokkaligas of Karnataka, Reddys and Khammas of Andhra Pradesh, the Marhattas of Maharashtra, the Jats of Punjab, Haryana and Western U.P. and Patidars of Gujarat are dominant castes in India.

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