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Sociology

Hinduism Has Sustained The Social Order Of The Caste System

Introduction

The concept of social order in Hinduism refers to a situation where various aspects of society fit specific people since individuals are different. Also, the basis of the framework of moral duties is social class or order. However, social order can also mean the maintenance of the status quo in society through the interaction of social components such as cultural aspects, social behaviour, and social structures. Cultural aspects, which are the main component of society, include values, religion, and norms that dictate the social order of the caste system. The universal religion in India is Hinduism, which has maintained the social order. The paper presents evidence that supports the idea that the social order of the caste system is the main concern of the religious since no effort has been made to eliminate the caste system’s social order.

Hinduism was more concerned with the social order because the religion did not make an effort to eradicate classes; instead, the fifth class, known as Dalits, emerged. The social order was at a high rate since racism advanced during the same period. It is also clear that religion supported social order because the new belief system started immediately after Aryans arrived in the Ganges and Indus Valley, which was the same time when regional identities began. Sunday, Vaishya, Kshatriya, and Brahmin are the division that started during that period. The new division that emerged was the Dalits since the religion supported the social order of the caste system. Furthermore, there was a cultural restriction in the caste system, which dominated for a longer time than expected because Hinduism did not strive to eliminate the dominant cultural system of the caste system (Kadel).

The religion has failed to advise the Hindu society on the human rights concept, which made the social order in classical Hinduism overlook the role of the person’s distinctness in the caste system. An individual or even a family is not considered a social unit but rather a purpose of inheritance and marriage. Conversely, the caste is the primary social unit. Therefore, only justice and merit have limited space in the caste system despite being the constituent of the social order. Similarly, the lack of human rights in the caste system is fully ascribed to religion (Quigley).

According to regional studies, Hinduism has failed to eliminate economic discrimination in loans, wages, employment, and occupation, thus playing a role in supporting a social order in the caste system. The untouchables are not protected by religion since they are beaten or abused if they want to shift from the ancient occupation to another occupation. The studies further show that only 15 per cent of the untouchable can change their occupation in rural areas despite the religion having the ability to stop the acts (Bandyopādhyāẏa). The untouchables were also discriminated against in wages. Moreover, religion was less concerned with the well-being of the individual. No literature review highlights how Hinduism strived to eliminate such norms; hence, they were in favour of the social order.

The codes and norms of the traditional caste system still govern the social behaviour present in the high castle Hindu, especially in rural India, according to religious studies and official evidence. The basic sharing of food and tea between the untouchable and the high castle is rare, the entry of untouchables to temples and private houses is limited in rural areas, the endogamy continues, and the untouchable settled ways from the high-castle locality. There are restrictions and pressure on political participation and voting. The untouchables are discriminated against in employment and are restricted to change occupations.

Conclusion

The available literature reveals that Hinduism is most concerned with maintaining the social order of the caste system. The caste system does not consider human rights, and religion fails to advise society on the importance of human rights. Hinduism was unable to campaign for the disbandment of the social classes in the caste system, but instead, the lowest class, called Dalits, was formed. Economic discrimination on wages, employment, and occupation exists, and religion has failed to eliminate it. The untouchables are discriminated against in other different aspects, such as limited entry to temples, private houses, and restrictions on their settlement near high-castle localities.

Works Cited

Bandyopādhyāẏa, S. Caste, culture, and hegemony: Social domination in colonial Bengal. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2004.

Kadel, B. S. “Caste: A Socio-political Institution in Hindu Society.” Janapriya Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 3 (2017): 9-14.

Quigley, D. “On the Relationship between Caste and Hindulism.” Flood, Gavin. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Blackwell Publisher, 2003. 501-608. Print. <http://cincinnatitemple.com/articles/BlackwellCompanionToHinduism.pdf#page=501>.

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