Essay on Backward Classes Movement and Social Mobility



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Increase in Horizontal Solidarity:

In the process of participating in the modern political, educational, economic and other pro­cesses, the caste system has undergone a significant change. The caste has been made free from its traditional local and vertical matrix. Within the local area, the stress is laid on the interdependence of castes or local sections of castes.

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The coming into existence of new opportunities, educational, eco­nomic, and political, brought about an increase in horizontal solidarity. Internal differences of a caste are undermined now.

“Different sections of a caste” are coming closer and getting united. Hence, the term ‘ Vokkaligas’ today includes the ‘Nonaba, Hallikara, Halumatha, Morasu, Kunchutiga,’ and such other different sections of Vokkaliga caste. The term ‘Brahmins’ includes the Smarthas, Madhvas, Iyers, Iyegngars and other sub-sections.

It is difficult to say whether the increase in horizontal solidarity has occurred equally with all the castes. It is certainly taking place among the high castes. The Scheduled Castes have come together for political purposes. It is true that political forces have played a vital part in stimulating horizontal solidarity. Urbanisation has increased spatial mobility. Westernised style of life and mod­ern ideology has also played an important part.

The spread of equalitarian ideology, and increasing political and social mobilisation, reveal that a fundamental change is taking place. This does not mean that this movement cannot be described as a movement from a ‘closed’ to an ‘open’ system of social stratification.

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