Difference between Caste and Class
People are divided by various barriers around the world. Some are divided by countries, and some are divided by class, religion, caste, etc. Well, talking about our country, India is the land of diversity. Different kinds of people reside here. But being in one country, people are still divided by religion, caste, and class. There are people who live in harmony with one another. But unfortunately, there are some people who create a fuss about this. Caste and class are the metaphorical dividing factors.
We have seen people talking about class and caste. What are they, and what is their importance in society? Well, both caste and class hold a lot of importance in society. Now, these two terms are quite different from one another. So, let us begin by the meaning of caste and class.
Caste is defined as the heredity transmission of life. This includes ritual purity, status, occupation, etc. Well, in layman's terms, caste is defined as the system of dividing the society into various different castes. For instance, Brahmins are considered to be the highest caste in our society because they are knowledgeable, scholarly people, and ritually pious.
The caste system segregates the Hindus into four significant categories, i.e., Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. In the earlier times, there were 3,000 prominent castes and 25,000 sub-castes. This division was based on their occupation. The Dalits and the Untouchables were not included in this caste system. As we can see from the above segregation, Brahmins and Kshatriyas were the major castes, and Dalits were the lowest caste.
Well, it is interesting to note that the Brahmins also have specific segregation. The highest and the most pious Brahmins are found in the Himalayan States. There are several castes in India from earlier times. People were known particularly by the castes. For instance, the community of Mukkulathor people is known as Thevar. They are found in Tamil Nadu. The people of this caste are also called 'rowdies.'
Now, each state has different castes ranging from highest to lowest. For instance, in Karnataka, the Banjara community is the highest caste there. The population of this community is 88%. Second is the Holaya community, then the Bhambi community, followed by Madiga and Adi Karnataka community. People are divided based on their caste in different states of India.
A class is defined as the social stature of a person in society. There are many factors that influence class like money, occupation, caste, etc. Class is a status group wherein the relations of productions are defined. A person's class is representative of a 'democratic society.'
The social classes are the group of individuals having accumulated wealth, occupation, a good educational background, income, etc. For instance, in Mexico, the classes are segregated by their lineage and wealth. There are five significant kinds of social classes, namely upper class, upper-middle-class, middle class, working-class, and the lower class.
According to Karl Marx, a social class is a relationship rather than a rank in society. That is why social classes are a means of production. Karl Marx also emphasized on what is called class struggle. Well, a class struggle is defined as the situation wherein the rich people pay the lower class for the things/ work they do. In this situation, the workers do not have any opinion regarding the work they did. They just had to obey the higher class of people. We often see caste struggle happening around us.
Now, there are certain differences between caste and class. So, let us have a look at them.
So, these are some of the distinctive contrasting points between caste and class. Both caste and class are prevalent in India at a much higher rate as compared to the other countries. The theories of Karl Marx, i.e., social class and class struggle, are also seen every now and then. Caste and class segregate people on different parameters. Thus, caste and class are inevitable parts of society.