Relations Between Castes

M.N. Srinivas

in The Remembered Village

Second edition

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780198077459
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081165 | DOI:

Series: Oxford India Perennials Series

Relations Between Castes

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This chapter suggests that the Rampura villager's relation with other human beings was mediated through caste. Every caste had a traditional occupation and the various castes of a region were mutually dependent. While occupational specialization resulted in the interdependence of castes, hierarchical ideas expressed in endogamy and the restrictions on inter-dining, emphasized their separation from each other. The maintenance of the separateness of castes and of the structural distance between them was achieved through the ideas of purity and pollution. A caste was pure in relation to a lower caste and impure in relation to a higher. The second section of this chapter discusses the idea of hierarchy. The third section examines the part played by purity and pollution ideas in intercaste relations. The last two sections examine Harijans and Muslims.

Keywords: purity; pollution; Harijans; Muslims; intercaste relations; Rampura; hierarchical idea

Chapter.  20057 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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