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The caste system is one of the oldest institutions in India. Deeply rooted in the religious ideas of the Hindus and built on a strict hierarchical subordination, it played for many centuries a huge role in the cultural, social and economic relations in this country. Despite the fact that the caste system has undergone many transformations after India attained independence, caste system remains an important feature of her socio-economic and cultural life. Socio-economic changes experienced in India over 70 years of independence have been quite significant. However, caste continues to be an important, even critical factor in many spheres of life, especially politics. Castes experience internal change and at the same time changes the society. This process, as well as the role of the caste in politics, is largely a result of the complex processes taking place in contemporary India. It is, of course, not easy to reconcile the socio-economic and political interests of communities in a society as diverse as that of India, as its complexity of unique religious stratification does not lose its relevance even as it continues to reform. Caste continues to be important, even critical, and variable in the manner in which inequalities are structured and reproduced. The Indian political system with its parliamentary democracy, universal suffrage and reservation system for backward classes (scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward castes), the role of caste based on the ancient Hindu worldviews has not only decreased, but even increased.
Ambedkar, Hinduism, caste, Dalits, Other Backward Classes, reservation
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