Impact of literacy and urbanization on caste system

Impact of literacy and urbanization on caste system

Question:- The development activity of the state affect the caste indirectly through the speeding up of economic change. How does the urbanization and the literacy rate affect the Indian society in terms of dying caste system?

Caste is any of the social divisions into which the Hindu society is divided. The Caste system divides people of India into four groups: Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra. This system decides for Indian people what they should do for living for their entire life.The problem with the caste system in India was that the lower class people were prevented from rising higher and the economic progress was hindered. This has been changed due to many factors among which growing literacy and urbanization played major role.

Literacy rate

- The values like equality and other protective measures which are written in the Constitution of India are imbibed through education.

- The literacy rate has helped the society to eradicate the myths related with the caste.
It has helped to eliminate rigidity of caste system. One can choose profession based on his or her liking regardless of caste which has provided infinite number of economic opportunities.

- The literacy rate in India has gone up to 74.04% in 2011 from 12% at the end of British rule in 1947.

- The literacy in India has created an awareness among the people regarding the political opportunities that are provided by the political discrimination.

- Literacy has given a wide scope for the people of oppressed class.

- Due to high literacy rate, the concept of equality is being promoted in the country which results in the dying caste system.

- Educational institutions has become epitome of equality where school children mixes with fellow student regardless of caste barriers

- Growing literacy has created political awareness among masses which helped them to exercise their political rights in effective way.

- Literacy level has empowered the lower caste and gave them many opportunities to explore.


- Growth in industry led to migration of rural poor to urban area for employment purpose in post independence India. Urbanization had increased at great pace after 1991 liberalization policy adopted by government.

- Urbanization has increased from 27.81% in 2001 Census to 31.16% in 2011 Census.

- Urbanization has destroyed the feeling of caste system as many people from various castes live together in the cities. Cities have unique character where ghettoing of backward classes is not possible which helped to bring together number of different caste people living together.

- Social life in cities which included number of recreational centers,where it is not possible to observe any taboo.

- Urbanization reduced the competition between the castes due to their widely distributed character and giving preference to their economic priorities.

- Due to the growth in urbanizations, the caste associations have extended their area of concerns beyond the local politics into the national politics.

Facts and Figures

- 73% of the population in India resides in rural areas.

- India is more urbanized than any of the SAARC countries.

- The population growth rate in urban areas is almost double that of rural areas.

- According to the Census of 2011, the population of rural India was 68.84%, whereas the population of urban area was 31.16%.

- Level of urbanization increased from 27.81% in 2001 Census to 31.16% in 2011 Census.

- The proportion of rural population declined from 72.19% to 68.84%

- India's adult literacy rate is 63%.

- About 75% of Indian men had at least a basic level of literacy.

- South Asia has the largest concentration of overall illiteracy.
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