Reinforcing Caste Boundaries in Everyday Social Interactions

I stumbled upon a thought-provoking but rather “vitriolic” thesis during my search. While I haven’t fully read it, it discusses the role of upper-class Bania women in reinforcing caste boundaries. The thesis suggests that while these women are subject to patriarchy, they actively contribute to upholding the caste system, benefiting upper castes. Through interviews with seven Bania women, the study explores their influence on everyday social interactions, including food practices, dating, marital relations, and interactions with lower castes.

The thesis requires significant trimming due to its excessively exaggerated and offensive language, but one statistic stands out prominently:

Statistically, 46% of people in Corporate boards in India are Banias, followed by 44.6% of Brahmins, while the lower castes collectively make up only 3.8% (Patel, 2009).

These statistics predate the Modi era, so it would be intriguing to examine the extent of change over the past decade. Additionally, as an observational note, I’ve noticed that Indians often socialize within cliques based on caste, consisting of relatives and old friends, whereas Pakistanis tend to be more class-based, with a notable tendency towards incessant social climbing. While these observations are subjective and the usefulness of such generalizations in the era of extensive globalization is debatable, it’s worth considering whether the underlying structures of society endure despite such shifts?

Corporate Boards in India. Blocked by Caste?

An examination of the caste diversity of Indian corporate boards of a thousand top Indian companies – accounting for four-fifths of market capitalization of all companies listed in the major stock indices in India – measured by the Blau-index shows that their median score for 2010 is zero, indicating that there is no diversity at all. Indian corporate boards continue to remain “old boys clubs” based on caste affiliation rather than on other considerations (like merit or experience).
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27 days ago

Women are the biggest victims of patriarchy, yet it is women who uphold traditional patriarchal norms compared to men. Not surprised that women reinforce caste hierarchies as well. Not generalizing, but since women still do the majority of child rearing, no surprises that prejudices still continue generation after generation.

There is no doubt an underlying shift in how caste matters. I think it will still take more than a few decades for a statistically significant and more importantly culturally significant shift to be detected.

26 days ago

Diversity + EI is being rolled back even in US. Everybody sees that having token representation does not effect real change and is in turn used by entrenched elites to cut down competition from within. India already has quotas in public sector with calls for quotas in private sector. The pushback against the CJI-led push for recognition of same sex marriage was welcome respite. Not sure how long this dam will hold though.

23 days ago

India never went through industrialisation thanks to left, nor did it implement reforms in manufacturing, which is happening only now, just before artificial intelligence comes on. Most non upper caste are trapped in villages, in labor sector. without reforms there, expecting changes at the top is nonsensical. do u get the fruits before planting the seeds?

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