1) How did post – independent India try to address discrimination based on caste which was more prevalent at that time.

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Topic:  Salient features of Indian society

1) How did post – independent India try to address discrimination based on caste which was more prevalent at that time. (200 Words)

Bipan Chandra, India Since Independence, Chapter – 37

  • Apocalypto

    Independent India was a society ridden which was discriminatory and anti thesis of democracy.

    Government tried to reduce the salience of caste by different means such as political empowerment of SC’s by reservation of seats in legislatures.

    Also constitution granted fundamental rights of equality ,right against exploitation and untouchability which gave legal recourse in case of exploitation.

    Affirmative action on part of government through reservations tried to elevate the conditions of SC’s through economic empowerment.

    Penal provisions against untouchability and atrocities were enacted which included protection of civil rights act and SC &ST prevention of atrocities act which acted as a deterrent against exploitations.

    Various schemes are undertaken by ministry of social justice such as providing scholarship to dalit students and various health benefits which results in development of their inherent potentials.

    Although the measures undertaken post independence were noble in intention and has created impact but caste being a social construct and is deeply ingrained in society is difficult to eradicate through top down approaches.

    Need is for sensitization of society on caste based exploitation and inclusion of value of equality in value education to be imparted in schools for long term eradication of caste based mindset in India.

    • Apocalypto

      Kindly review friends. .

      • Sharad Durgawad

        Nice answer…you have thrown the light on all areas like political, economic, legal and so on in brief points

  • Sharad Durgawad

    Castes in the Indian society has degraded the social life of Dalits, downtroddens, oppressed since centuries. The social reformers like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, Periyar and Narayan Guru had sacrified their entire life to fight against the evil forces of Hindu society for the justice of Dalits.

    The legal effect towards this great cause to provide social justice to these lower classes is provided by Dr Babsaheb Ambedkar in the Indian Constitution who fought his entire life to fight
    against the evil forces of Hindu society.

    The greatest provision provided in the constitution towards empowerment of the lower castes is SOCIAL JUSTICE – Political, Social and Economic.

    Constitutional Provisions:

    – Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
    – Article 17: Abolition of untouchability
    – Article 46: Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections
    – Article 335: Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to services and posts

    Legal provisions:

    – The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to prevent atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The Act is popularly known as POA, the SC/ST Act, the Prevention of Atrocities Act

    Political justice:

    – Indian governments attempt to provide the caste based reservation is to remedy past injustices forced on the lower castes.

    – Reservation in Panchyayats (Article 243D)and Municipalities(Article 243T) elections to empower the lower classes (Scs and STs and OBCs) politically.

    – To allow for proportional representation in certain state and federal institutions, the constitution reserves federal government jobs(Article 335), seats in state legislatures(Article 332), the lower house of parliament(Atricle 330), and educational institutions for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes

    – National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes committed to the full implementation of the various acts like the PCR Act, 1955 and SC and ST (POA) Act, 1989. The NCSC/NCST will endeavor to ensure that the economic development schemes for SC/ST population are implemented as per guidelines and every penny of SCP/SCSP is spent appropriately exclusively for the benefit of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes…

    Social Justice:

    – The best example can be given is the reservation for the post of priests in the Pandharpur temple trust by Maharashtra state government. Under the norms of the state government, they opened the posts for all castes and filled them by conducting the interviews. This is the encouraging step taken by a government towards the social justice to lower classes.

    There is need for awakening the social conscience of Indian society as a whole and political will to eradicate the evils of castes.

    Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar rightly said “You can not build anything on the foundation of castes, you can not build up a nation. You can not build up a morality…”

    Alas India is far away to achieve her goal towards social justice and equality in the society. Below are few examples:

    – The number of seats in the high posts (class I), universities and many public sectors are unfilled. At the same time,

    At universities, upper-castes occupy 90 percent of the teaching posts in the social sciences and 94 percent in the sciences, while Dalit representation is only 1.2 and 0.5 percent, respectively. Dalit activists sometimes called it as “Unacknowledged reservation policy” for upper castes.

    – Failure to Implement the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

    – Non-registration of cases

    – Lack of special courts and special prosecutors

    – Under-reporting of Atrocities Act cases: the Gujarat experience

    – Attempts to repeal the Atrocities Act: the Maharashtra experience

    – Failure of government to implement the Land reformation Act across India which could help the Dalits in large

    Please review the answer

    • Apocalypto

      ur ans is very exhaustive! !!
      There are some issues. .

      It is very long and thus time and word limit is exceeded! !

      No need to go into details ..
      u should conclude suitably!!

      ATB ..keep writing. .
      Kindly review mine

      • Sharad Durgawad

        Thanks Apocalypto…

    • upsc

      Will u be able to write all these things within 9 minutes in exam ?
      Content wise…it is comprehensive but think practically.

      • Sharad Durgawad

        thanks very much for reviewing the answer…will take care in future

  • Jeevan

    Caste based discrmination which was practised since ancient times took major changes after the independence due to the efforts of Dr.B.R Ambedkar and several other leaders. Such change was reflected at the time of Drafting constitution and also in policies to protect their economic,social and political rights by consecutive governments. They are:

    ## No discrimination based on caste ,religion,etc.,, at public and Private places is envisaged in the constitution as fundamental right.
    ## Reservation in employment ,education,Political representations like in panchayats,legislatives,etc., is provided to SC’s ,ST’s and BC
    ## SC and ST(prevention of Atrocities) Act to protect them and punish those who discriminate them.
    ## creating constitutional bodies to safeguard their rights like SC commission.
    ## Declared few areas as scheduled areas to protect their economic,social and political rights.

    Collective engagement from NGO’s,civvil society and political parties to protect the rights has resulted in decreasing the dircrimination to large extent which seems to be impossible before the time of independence.

    • Apocalypto

      Content is good..

      Conclusion could have been better..

      Keep writing

    • Apocalypto

      Kindly review mine

    • upsc

      The answer should not only concentrate on SC/ST. Include OBCs also. Include the First BC Commission under Kaka Kalelkar, Second one under B.P. Mandal whose recommendations were implemented in early 1990s and It was challenged in Indra Sawhney case.

  • Udtapanchi

    Removing caste based discrimination was the avowed goal of post independent India. The constitutional values of Justice,liberty,equality,fraternity so as ensure dignity of Individual and unity and integrity of Nation were framed to impinge on this menace. 67 years of post- independence history narrates the nature and mechanism of the steps taken –
    1) Legal provisions- The caste based reservation in education,employment has been provided so as to empower the weaker section.Further they have been given Fundamental right for prohibition of untouchability and several stringent measure in prevention of atrocities act have been enunciated. However they have been criticized of being inadequate,divisionary and less efficacious in nature
    2) Development process- The government has initiated programmatic measures through ministries of human resource development,Health,education,labour and so on securing the economic and social rights of backward caste which has favoured them positively. Moreover out of process development especially in agriculture,land reforms, Urbanization , Industrialization significant progress has been made with regard to breaking old caste based barriers and increased access to Education,health ,cultural rituals and so on.Though significant caste based prejudices remain .For e.g. marriage on lines of caste
    3) Political process- Though there are limitation to political parties due to co-optation and power However the issue has been organized backward caste on partisan lines.For-ex- BSP in U.P,Republican party in Maharashtra. However this has been weakened on ideological and Personal divisions with the parties
    4) Social process- Owing to changes in economic structure and resultant changes in mindset of people there is progress but it is not sufficient. there are fissures created within the backward castes and the progress has been judged by backward caste freedom to celebrate rituals of upper caste.
    However,In 21st century there is no place for caste based discrimination which has to be eradicated less through quick fixes of reservation but much through the Faster,sustainable and inclusive development agenda of India

  • ravi

    The fight to undo the historic injustice inflicted upon the lower castes in India has continued for centuries . However , post independence , many steps were taken to adress the prevalent discrimination

    1. Constitution provides Fundamental rights gives to right to equality , prohibition against discrimination , abolition of untouchability , etc to individuals , while allowing the state to take affirmative action for social welfare and reform by reservation in govt jobs and education . DPSP requires states to adress the nutrition , health , education and employment concerns
    2. Land reforms helped in land redistribution , among the lower castes , thus reducing forced labour and explotation , esp. in Kerela and WB

    3. Introduction of mandal commission recommendations gave the lower castes esp OBCs many education and employment oppurtunities and a new political assertive identity and many caste groups came to power esp. in North India

    4. The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to prevent atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

    5. Implementation of panchayati raj system has empowered the lower castes and increased their decision making power as well as participation in democracy

    Though , a lot of actions has been taken , but cases of discrimination are still reported especially in rural areas . Thus , need of the hour is the strict implementation and awareness as well as education , health and skill development of these lower sections to achieve Gandhi’s dream of a casteless society

    • ravi

      Plz review

    • Zeel Patel

      v good to the point

    • Jagdish

      Land reforms helped in land redistribution , among the lower castes , thus reducing forced labour and explotation , esp. in Kerela and WB.

      The objective of land reform was to provide the land to landless. It is another fact that most of the landless are from disadvantaged group. Officially the objective was not based on caste.

      • Ravi

        so shud I have included land reforms or not ?

        • Jagdish

          I believe you can mention it under economic initiatives: Land reforms could have benefited the disadvantaged section had implemented properly as was seen in kerala and WB. This is due to the fact that most of the landless laborer and sharecroppers belonged to SC/STs.

          • Ravi

            thanks.. I have taken a note of it…. 🙂

      • gajender

        Land reforms were targeted keeping the pre independence propagandas , ” land to the tiller” and no land tax for cultivator .
        And most of landless were so called lower caste , so it indirectly hit the tone .

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  • I_A.S.

    Many groups of castes belonging to lower rung of caste
    hierarchy have suffered exploitation from upper caste section. Our founding fathers
    were very well aware of the situation and also realised its potential to
    destroy democracy in young nation like India. Post independence many steps were

    Constitution provides
    justice- economic, social and political- and equality. Fundamental rights
    guarantee protection against exploitation, abolish untouchability and equality
    before law. DPSP guides states action for affirmative measures for welfare of
    lower caste people.

    Legal provisions such as prevention of atrocities act,
    prevention of manual scavenging etc provides legal remedy and help in
    maintaining dignity among the lower caste section.

    Reservation for SC/ST’s in educational institutes,
    government employment, state legislature, Lok Sabha and Local bodies have
    promoted economic and political justice.

    Backward class commission 1st under KElkar and
    then under Mandal led to reservation for OBC’s in education and employment.

    Past experience has shown that intention of government has
    always been honest in removing this historical injustice but implementation part
    has been wanting. More need to be done
    such in respect of promotion in jobs, filling seats mandated in reservation
    which are vacant most of the time. Since the problem is more socially and
    culturally bounded, complete success can only be achieved through sensitisation
    of society as a whole.

  • Titan

    Caste based discrimination had been associated with India for decades. However, post independence, the nature and effect had surfaced vividly.

    Independent India had addressed such discrimination in with strong hand. They are:

    1. Makers of independent India like M.Gandhi with his Harijan movement, B.R Ambedkar with his strong anti Dalit movement and Pariyar in the South of India had dealt casteism very strongly.

    2. The Constitution itself empowered such oppressed group through its fundamental rights under Art 14,15 and DPSP.

    3. Later Commissions specially for SC, ST and OBC had been established to take special interest in their growth and upbringing.

    4. Reservation of seats in education institutions, Panchayat and Govt offices had been done keeping them in benefits.

    After six decades of independence, the problem still lingers and more people inclusive and stringent law measure need to be taken to cure the root problem, instead of mere reservation when much of the seats remain vacant as they fail to reach even that level due to lack of basic entitlement.

  • Surya Kant Maurya

    India was a highly cast ridden society at the time of independence which was visible through inequitable distribution of resources and discrimination practices. Following are the post independence measures to address caste discrimination:

    Political: Universal adult franchise alongwith reservation of seats in legislature for scheduled castes and tribes made their voices heard in political system and government. The similar provision has later been introduced in 73rd and 74th amendments for local bodies also. Further, owing to their numerical strength, a number of political parties have emerged post emergency which are headed by
    dalit or backward caste leaders.

    Social and educational: The constitution banned caste based discrimination and untouchability under fundamental rights itself. Reservation in government jobs and education institutes were provided to schedule caste and tribes. Scholarships, fee subsidy and hostel facilities are extended by the state to the lower caste students for their development.

    Economic: Tenancy and land reforms, special incentives to the entrepreneurs of weaker section such as easier loans, reserving procurement from them in PSUs etc. have helped them improve their conditions.

    However, caste based discrimination and atrocities are not uncommon even today which call for continuous efforts against this social evil which has hindered India from growing to its full potential.

  • Debiprasad Mohapatra

    with the fruit of independence came the formidable task of dealing with cast discrimination for india whose policy makers though ceated a host of institutions for the purpose have not been fully able to restrain the social monster.following are some among those steps. 1.chapter 3 of constitution provides for right to equality that can act against cast discrimination by the way of right to constitutional remedies. 2.promulgation of laws like sc and st atrocities act ,untouchability act points towards good will of the state towards creating a harmonius environment for everybody. 3.reservation of seats in legislatures , local government and parliament has ensured political emancipation for them. 4.provision of separate commissions for sc and st and role of these organisations in acting as catalytist for their development are in themselves ushering in a new era progress. 5.sc and st development corporation has taken care of financial need of the downtrodden community. despite all above steps having been taken lot of challenges are to be dealt with like proper implementation of laws ,creating awareness among citizens .strong political will and acting above parochial interests cal act as bulwark against this problem.above all no problem is big enough if strong desire prevails