Social Institution: Continuity and Change Questions and Answers Class 12 CBSE

Question 1 : What is the role of the ideas of separation and hierarchy in the caste system?

Answer : The caste system can be understood as the combination of two sets of principles, one is based on difference and separation and the other on wholism and hierarchy. Each caste is supposed to be different from other caste and is therefore strictly separated from every other caste. Many of the scriptural rules of caste are thus designed to prevent the mixing of castes. Some of these are rules ranging from marriage, food sharing and social interaction to occupation. On the other hand, these different and separated castes do not have an individual existence but they can only exist in relation to a larger whole i.e. society consisting of all castes.

This societal whole or system is a hierarchical rather than egalitarian system. Each individual caste occupies not just a distinct place, but also a particular position in the social order.

The hierarchical ordering of castes is based on the distinction between purity and pollution. Castes that are considered ritually pure have high status, while those considered less pure or impure have low status. As in all societies, material power is closely associated with social status.

Castes are complementary and non-competing groups. In other words, each caste has its own place in the system which cannot be taken over by any other caste.

Question 2 : What are some of the rules that the caste system imposes?

Answer : The most commonly cited defining features or rules of cast are the following:

  • Cast is determined by birth, a child is born into the caste of its parents. It is never a matter of choice.
  • Membership in a caste involves strict rules about marriage. Caste groups are endogamous i.e. marriage is restricted to members of the group.
  • Caste membership also involves rules about food and food-sharing. What kind of food may be eaten is prescribed and who one may share food with, is also specified.
  • Caste involves a system consisting of many caste arranged in a hierarchy of rank and status.
  • Caste also involve sub-divisions within themselves, i.e. caste almost always have sub-caste which may also have sub-sub-castes.
  • Castes were traditionally linked to occupations. A person born into a caste could only practice the occupation associated with that caste.

Question 3 : What changes did colonialism bring about in the caste system?

Or The institution of caste underwent major changes from colonial times to the present day. Explain.

Answer : Major social institutions and specially the institution of caste underwent major changes during the colonial period. In fact, some scholars argue that what we know today as caste is a product of colonialism than of ancient Indian tradition. Some of these efforts took the shape of very methodical and intensive surveys and reports on the customs and manners of various tribes and castes all over the country.

Some of the changes in caste system are as follows :

  • (i). The study of the social hierarchies and the discriminatory patterns was done exclusively by British scholars to govern India.
  • (ii). They documented and crystallised the caste system which was originally fluid.
  • (iii). Colonial state has an intervention of land law to give legal recognition to the customary rights to the upper caste.
  • (iv). By the end of colonial period, the administration also took a new shape in the welfare of the caste, referred as ‘ Depressed Class’ of its time.
  • (v). In 1935, Government of India Act gave legal recognition to caste with the name of ‘ Schedule’. This  marked the emergence of ‘ Schedule Caste’ and ‘ Schedule Trbe’.

Question 4 : In what sense has caste become relatively invisible for the urban upper castes?

Or Caste system in the contemporary period has tended to become invisible for the upper and middle classes but it is opposite in lower classes. Comment.

Answer : The caste system in the contemporary period has tended to become invisible for the upper caste, urban middle and upper classes. These groups have benefitted the most from the developmental policies of the post-colonial era. As a result caste has appeared to decline in significance precisely.

Their caste status had been crucial in ensuring that these groups had the necessary economic and educational resources to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by rapid development. In particular, the upper caste elite were able to benefit from subsidised public education, specially professional education in science, technology, medicine and management. At the same time, they were also able to take advantage of the expansion of state sector jobs in the early decades after independence.

In this initial period, these group lead the rest of society and ensured that they did not face any serious competition. As their privileged status got consolidated in the second and third generations, these groups began to believe that their advancement has no relation with caste.

Question 5 : How have tribes been classified in India ?

Or Tribes have been classified according to their permanent and acquired tracts. Explain.

Answer : Tribes in India have been classified according to their, ‘ permanent’ and ‘ acquired’ traits.

Permanent Traits

Permanent traits include region, language, physical characteristics and ecological habitat. About 85% of the tribal population lives in ‘middle India’. Of the remaining 15%, over 11% is in the North-Eastern states and over 3% living in the rest of India.

In terms of language tribes are categorised into four categories as Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austric and Tibeto-Burman language, whereas only 20% tribals speak Indo Aryan and Dravidian language.

In physical-racial terms tribes are classified as Nergito, Australoid, Mongoloid, Dravidian and Aryan.

In terms of size, tribes range from about seven million to some Andamanese islanders who are less than a hunderd persons.

The biggest tribes of India are Gonds, Bhils, Santhals, Oraons, Minas, Bodos and Mundas. The total population of tribes amounts to about 8.6.%, according to the 2011 census.

Acquired Traits

Acquired traits includes criterias i.e. mode of livelihood, and extent of incorporation into Hindu society.

On the basis of livelihood, tribes can be categorised into fishermen, food gatherers/hunters, shifting cultivators, peasants and plantation and industrial workers.

Extent of incorporation into the Hindu society, the dominant classification of tribes is based on the extent of their assimilation in the Hindu mainstream.

  • From the tribe point of view, attitude of the tribe towards Hindu mainstream is important as there are tribes that are positively inclined towards Hinduism and others who oppose it.
  • From the Hindu mainstream point of view, tribes may be viewed according to their status in the Hindu society which is generally low.

Question 6: What evidence would you offer against the view that tribes are primitive communities living isolated lives untouched by civilisation ?

Or Do you think tribes are primitive communities living isolated lives untouched by conflation ? Discuss. CBSE 2019

Answer : There is no reason to believe that tribes are out of contact with the rest of world or have always been oppressed section of the society. This can be said because of the following reasons :

(i) The presence of several Gond kingdoms in Central India such as that of Garha, Mandla or Chanda.

(ii) Many of the Rajput kingdoms of Central and Western India emerged through a process of stratification among adivasi communities themselves.

(iii) Adivasi often exercised dominance over the plains people through their capacity to raid them and through their services as local militias.

(iv) They also occupied a special trade niche, trading forest produce, salts and elephants.

Evidences substantiating tribes as primive communities:

(i) Tribes have not a state or political form of the normal kind.

(ii) They have no written rules on religion.

(iii) They are neither Hindus nor peasants.

(iv) Primarily they are engaged in activities like food gathering, fishing, hunting, agriculture etc.

(v) The habitat of tribes is in dense forests and mountains regions.

Question 7 : What are the factors behind the assertion of tribal identities today ?

Or Explain the factors influencing the formation of tribal identity today .

Answer : Forced incorporation of tribal communities into mainstream processes had its impact on tribal culture and society as much as its economy.

  • Tribal identities today are formed by this interactional process rather than any primordial (original, ancient) characteristics peculiar to tribes.
  • Because this interaction with the mainstream has generally been unfavourable to the tribal communities, many tribal identities today are centered on ideas of resistance and opposition to the overwhelming force of the non-tribal world.
  • The positive impact of successes such as the achievement of statehood for Jharkhand and Chattisgarh after a long struggle is moderated by continuing problems. The vicious circle of armed rebellions is provoking state repression which in turn fuels further rebellions that has taken a heavy toll on the economy, culture and society of the North-Eastern states.
  • Another significant development is the gradual emergence of an educated middle class among tribal communities.
  • This in conjunction with the policies of reservation is creating an urbanised professional class.
  • As tribal societies one becoming more and more differentiated other bases emerge for the assertion of tribal identity.
  • Further due to differing visions of the tribe the reason for asserting tribal identity differs for different sects of a tribe.

Question 8 : What are some of the different forms that the family can take ?

Answer : In different societies, diverse family forms are found. With regard to the rules of residence, some societies are:

Metrilocal : In this case, the newly married couple stays with the woman’s parents.

Petrilocal : In this case, the couple lives with the man’s parents.

With regard to the rules of inheritance, some societies are :

Matrilineal : In this, the property is passed from mother to daughter.

Patrilineal : In this, the property is passed from father to son.

With regard to the dominance, some societies are :

Patriarchal : It exists where the men exercise authority and dominance.

Matriarchy : Unlike patriarchy has been a theoretical rather than an empirical concept.

Question 9 : In what ways can changes in social structure lead to changes in family structure ? Delhi 2010, All India 2014,2017

Answer : The structure of the family can be studied both as a social institution in itself and also in its relationship to other social institutions of society. The internal structure of the family is usually related to other structures of society, namely political, economic, cultural, etc.

It is to be noted here that families have different structures and these structure change.

Sometimes, these changes occur accidentally, as in case of a war or migration.

Sometimes these changes are purposely brought about as when young people decide to choose their life partner instead of letting elders decide, or same sex love or marriage is done openly in society. It is evident from these kind of changes that due to changes in cultural ideas, norms and values would affect the family structures.

Question 10 : Explain the difference between matriliny and matriarchy.

Answer : Matriliny : Matrilineal society is also called matriliny. In these societies, women inherit property from their mothers but do not exercise control over it. Women are not taken to be the decision makers in public affairs. Examples of matrilines are Khasi, Jaintia, tribals of North-East India. Matriliny is  very complicated structures with lot of contradictions.

For instance in Khasi matriliny, a woman inherits property from her mother and passes it on to her daughter, while a man controls his sisters property and passes on control to his sister’s son. Thus, inheritance passes from mother to daughter whereas control passes from (maternal) uncle to nephew.

Matriarchy :  As in patriarchal family structure where men exercise authority and dominance, in matriarchy, women plays dominant role and exercises authority. Matriarchy is only a theoretical concept and does not have any empirical evidence i.e., there is no historical or anthropological evidence of its existence in any society.

Objective Type Questions

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 1 : The term caste in the Indian context comprise of

(a) Tribes
(b) Varna
(c) Jati
(d) Both (b) and (c)

Answer : (d) Both (b) and (c)

Question 2 : Which of the following is true for caste ?

(a) It is a choice
(b) It is endogamous
(c) It is not linked to occupation
(d) It is based on egalitarianism

Answer : (b) It is endogamous

Question 3 :  _______ passed a law that recognised SC’s and ST’s .

(a) The untouchability Offences Act of 1955.
(b) The Government of India Act, 1935
(c) The Scheduled Castes (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989)
(d) The Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 2005)

Answer : (a) The untouchability Offences Act of 1955.

Question 4 : The concept of Sanskritisation and Dominant Castes as processes of change was coined by _______

(a) Jyotiba Phule
(c) M.N. Srinivas
(d) D Ayyankali

Answer : (c) M.N. Srinivas

Question 5 : The tribal language spoken by Indian tribes include

(a) Indo-Aryan
(b) Dravidian
(c) Austric
(d) Tibeto-Burman

Answer : (c) Austric

Question 6 : Which of the following tribe have turned into settles agriculture ?

(a) Birhors
(b) Santhal
(c) Hos
(d) Gonds

Answer : (c) Hos

Question 7 : The adivasis traded ________

(a) Salt
(b) Forest produce
(c) Elephants
(d) All of these

Answer : (d) All of these

Question 8 : The matrilineal system has inherent disagreements based on _______

(a) women are deprived power
(b) structure of authority
(c) leniency towards men
(d) All of the above

Answer : (d) All of the above

Fill in the Blanks

Question 9 : The hierarchical ordering of castes is based on the distinction between ______

Answer : purity and pollution

Question 10 : ______ devoted his/her life to educate Shudras and Anti-Shudras.

Answer : Savitri Bai Phule

Question 11 : Endogamy can be defined as an individual to marry within a ______ defined group.

Answer : culturally

Question 12 : The ______ under the direction of Herbert Risley was important.

Answer : 1901 Census

Question 13 : The ______ have suffered a dilution of tribal share of population.

Answer : Industrial area of Jharkhand

Question 14 : A ______ group has members who are related by ancestry, marriage or adoption.

Answer : Kinship

Question 15 :  He was born in Kerala and was a leader of the lower castes and Dalits. With his efforts, Dalits got the freedom to walk on public roads, and Dalit children were allowed to join schools.

He is _______ .

(a) Ayyakali
(b) Jotirao Govindrao Phule
(c) Savitri Bai Phule
(d) Periyar

Answer :  (a) Ayyakali

Question 16 : The ______ ordering of caste is based on th distiction between ‘purity’ and ‘pollution’. This is a division between something believed to be closed to the sacred and something believed to be distant from or opposed to the sacred, therefore considered ritually polluting.

(a) Segmentation
(b) Holistic
(c) Hierarchical
(d) Realistic

Answer : (c) Hierarchical

Question 17 :  He was born in Kerala, preached brother-hood for all and fought against the ill effects of the social revolution and gave the watchwords ‘One Caste, One Religion, One God for all men’. He is _______ .

(a) Sri Narayana Guru
(b) Savitri Bai Phule
(c) Periyar
(d) M. N. Srinivas

Answer : (a) Sri Narayana Guru

True/ False

Question 18 : The English word ‘caste’ is actually a borrowing from the Portuguese ‘casta’ meaning pure breed.

Answer : True

Question 19 : For the Scheduled Castes and Tribes and the backward castes, caste has become invisible.

Answer : False, for the upper caste, urban middle and upper castes, caste has become invisible.

Question 20 : According to some scholars, tribes were wholly different from caste because they had no notion of purity and pollution which is central to the caste system.

Answer : True

Question 21 : The extended family often is seen as symptomatic of India.

Answer : True

Correct the Following :

Question 22 : Caste is an open ancient social institution.

Answer : Caste is a closed ancient social institution.

Question 23 : There is a coherent basis  for treating tribes as ‘pristine’ – i.e., original or pure – 

Answer : There is no coherent basis  for treating tribes as ‘pristine’ – i.e., original or pure –  societies uncontaminated by civilisation.

Question 24 :  Families have different structures that do not undergo any changes.

Answer : Families have different structures that these structures change .

Complete the Statement

Question 25 :  Caste are not only unequal to each other in ritual terms, they are also supposed  to be ______ .

Answer : complementary and non-competing groups

Question 26 : During the 1960s scholars debated whether tribes should be seen as _____ .

Answer : one end of a continuum with caste-based (Hindu) peasant society, or whether they were a different kind of community.

Question 27 : The family ( the private sphere) is linked to the _______ .

Answer : economic, political, cultural and educational ( the public) spheres.

Question 28 : Caste also involve sub-divisions within themselves, i.e., caste almost always have sub-castes and sometimes sub-castes may also have sub-sub-castes. Caste involves a system consisting of many castes arranged in a hierarchy of rank and status. In theory, every person has a caste, and every caste has a  specific place in the hierarchy of all castes. This phenomenon is known as ______ .

Answer : Segmental organisation

Very Short Answer Type Questions

Question 1 : Define the term ‘caste’ .

Answer : Caste is an ancient institution that has been the part of Indian history and culture for thousands of years.

Question 2 : How difference between endogamy and exogamy can be explained ?

Answer : The meaning of endogamy is when one marries someone within one’s own group or caste and the meaning of exogamy is when  one marries someone outside one’s own group or caste.

Question 3 : What do you mean by dominant caste ?

Answer : Dominant caste is  a term used to refer to those caste which had a large population and were granted land-rights by the partial land reforms that came after independence.

Question 4 : Give two examples of dominant land-owning groups. (All India 2009)

Answer : The two dominant land-owning groups are :

  • The Yadavas of Bihar and Utter Pradesh.
  • The Vokkaligas of Karnataka.

Question 5 : What is Sanskritisation ? (All India 2008)

Or What is the meaning of Sanskritisation ? (Delhi 2016)

Answer : Sanskritisation refers to a process whereby members of a (usually middle or lower) caste attempt to raise their own social status by adopting the ritual, domestic and social practices of a caste (or castes) of higher status.

Question 6 : Explain Sanskritisation as a process of change. (Delhi 2018)

Answer : Sanskritisation refers to a process by which a low Hindu caste or tribal group, changes its custom, ideology, rituals and ways of life in the direction of high and twice-born caste. It is followed by a claim, after a long time, to belong to a higher position in the caste hierarchy.

Question 7 : What are the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi for the welfare of depressed class ?

Answer : The role of Mahatma Gandhi for the welfare of depressed class was that he advocated the abolition of untouchability and other caste restrictions. He also termed them Harijan meaning God’s child. He toured and protested against the ill-treatment of lower caste.

Question 8 : Explain the two broad sets of issues that are most important in giving rise to tribal movements. ( Delhi 2018)

Answer : Two broad sets of issues which have been most important in giving rise to tribal movements are :

  • Issues relating to control over vital economic resources like land and forests.
  • Issues relating to matters of ethnic-cultural identity.

Question 9 : Mention the isolation and integration debate on tribes.

Answer : The famous isolation versus integration debate of the 1940s has  the following views :

  • Isolationist argued that tribals needed protection from traders, moneylenders and Hindu and Christian missionaries, all of whom were intent on reducing tribals to landless labour.
  • The integrationist, on the other hand, argued that tribals were merely backward Hindus and their problems had to be addressed within the same framework as that of other backward classes.

Question 10 : ‘Adivasi experiences of marginalisation and their sense of injustice were the mobilised to create shared Jharkhand identity.’ Mention the issues against  which leaders of Jharkhand agitated. (Delhi 2019)

Answer : The issues against which the leaders of Jharkhand agitated were :

  • Acquisition of land for large irrigation projects and firing ranges.
  • Survey and settlement operations, which were held up, camps closed down etc.
  • Collection of loans, rent, dues which were resisted.
  • Nationalisation of forest produce which they boycotted.

Question 11 : Distinguish between a nuclear and an extended family. (All India 2012)

Answer : The difference between the nuclear family and the extended family is that a nuclear family refers to a single basic family unit of parents and their children, whereas the extended family refers to their relatives, as well as grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles, etc.

Short Answer Type Questions

Question 1 : How has casteism influenced politics ? Delhi 2016

Answer : Casteism refers to discrimination on the basis of caste. It firther affects already divided castelines. It places caste interests ahead of political principles.

From its very beginning in independent India, democratic politics has been deeply influenced by caste. Its functioning has become more and more complex and hard to predict the swing of electoral results. The caste remains central to electoral politics and since the 1980s, we have also seen the emergence of strong caste-based political parties.

The situations worsen as parties compete with each other in utilising the same kind of caste calculus but does nothing or very less for the welfare of people.

Question 2 : What is the role of ideas of separation and hierarchy in the caste system ?

Answer : The role of separation and hierarchy can be understood as the combination of two sets of principles. One based on difference and separations and other on wholism and hierarchy. Each caste is understood to be different from and is therefore, strictly separated from every other caste.

There are various scriptural rules of caste. The very purpose of these rules is to check the mixing of castes. These rules ranging from marriage, food, sharing and social interactions to occupation play a significant role. this societal whole or system is a hierarchical rather than egalitarian system. Each individual caste gets not just a distinct place, but also an ordered rank.

Question 3 : How did ‘ Schedule Caste’ and ‘ Schedule Tribe’ come into existence ?

Answer : During the colonial period, the British government, the administration took an interest in the welfare of downtrodden castes referred to as ‘ Depressed Classes’.

It was the Government of India Act of 1935 which gave legal recognition to the lists or ‘ Schedule’ of castes and tribes marked out for the special treatment by the state. This is how the terms ‘ Schedule Castes’ and ‘ Schedule Tribes’ came into being.

Caste at the bottom of hierarchy that suffered severe discrimination, including the ‘ untouchable’ castes were also included in Schedule caste.

Question 4 : Examine the role of state’s initiatives to address caste and tribe discrimination. (All India 2014)

Answer : State’s initiative to address caste and tribe discrimination are :

  • The most important state initiative is provided by reservations. This involves the setting of reserved places or category for people of the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in different spheres of public life. The proportion of reserved seats is equal to the percentage share of the Scheduled Castes and Scedule Tribes in the total population.
  • In addition to reservations, there have been a number of Constitutional laws passed to end, prohibit and punish caste discrimination and untouchability.

Question 5 : Tribals have forced colonialism int he pre-independent India. Explain. (All India 2014)

Or Compare and contrast the socio-economic conditions of tribals before and after Independence. (All India 2011)

Answer : Tribals have faced difficulties and discrimination during the British rule.During the pre-independence period, on the political and economic front, tribal societies faced incursion of moneylenders. They also lost their land to non-tribal immigrant settlers. Their access to forests was restricted because of the British government’s policy of reservation of forests and the introduction of mining operations. In this way, their source of livelihood was snatched by the British government.

Post-independent era, particularly  the Nehruvian era, involved the building of large dams, factories and mines. The tribal areas were located in mineral rich and forest covered parts of the country. Thus, their places of dwelling was either destroyed or snatched away in the name of development. This kind of development has benefitted the mainstream at the expense of the tribes.

Question 6 : ” Tribal’s have paid a disproportionate price for the development of the rest of India society.” Highlight the sources of conflict between ‘national development’ and’ tribal development’. (Delhi 2018)

Answer : Conflict between national development and tribal development :

  • National development in the Nehruvian era, focused on the building of involved the building of large dams, factories and mines etc. As the tribal areas were rich in minerals, they paid a heavy price for the development activities, which benefitted the mainstream at the expense of the tribes.
  • The displacement of tribes has been a result of setting up dams and factories using the forested areas for various mining activities and other development work. The loss of the forests on which most tribal communities depended has been a major blow.
  • The idea of private property in land, also adversely affected the tribes. Tribes which mostly had collective community-based ownership were at a disadvantage in the new system. Example: series of dams being built over the Narmada River.
  • Many tribal regions have experienced heavy in-migration of non-tribals. This threatens to disrupt their cultures and communities. Example: Jharkhand and Tripura.

Question 7 : Caste is discriminatory system. Elaborate. (Delhi 2019)

Answer : The caste system is a distinct Indian social institution that legitimises and enforces practices of discrimination against people born into particular castes. These practices of discrimination are humiliating, exclusionary and exploitative. It classified people on the basis of their occupation and hierarchy of social status.

  • The privileged (and high economic status) sections of society tend to be overwhelmingly ‘upper’ caste while the disadvantaged ( and low economic status) sections are dominated by the so called ‘lower’ castes.
  • The proportion of population that lives in poverty or affluence differs greatly across caste groups.

Long Answer Type Questions

Question 1 : Discuss the ways that strengthened the institution of caste in India under colonial rule. (Delhi 2014)

Or The institution of caste underwent major changes during the colonial period. Explain . (CBSE 2019 )

Answer : Caste is an institution uniquely associated with the Indian sub- continent. The four varna classification is around three thousand years old.

However, the caste system stood for different things in different time periods. The present form of caste as a social institution has been shaped very strongly by the colonial perios.

All major social institutions specially the institution of caste underwent major changes during the colonial period. In fact, some scholars argued that what we know today as caste is more a product of colonialism than of ancient Indian tradition.

But by far, the most important official effort to collect information on caste was through the census. The 1901 Census under the direction of Herbert Risley was particularly important, as it sought to collect information on the social hierarchy of caste. This effort had a huge impact on social perceptions of caste.

Scholars feel that this kind of direct attempt to count caste and to officially record caste status changed the institution itself.

Before this kind of intervention, caste identities had been much more fluid and less rigid but afterwards it became more complex. Further, social intervention of the colonial states had a huge impact on the institution of caste.

The land revenue settlements and related arrangements and laws served to give legal recognition to the customary (caste-based) rights of the upper castes. In addition, the Government of India Act 1935 gave special attention to the downtrodden while categorising them as SC’s and ST’s.

Question 2 : What is the concept of ‘ Dominant Caste’ ?

Answer : Dominant caste is a term used to refer to those castes which had a large population and were granted land rights by the partial land reforms affected after independence.

  • The land reforms took away  rights from the upper castes who were ‘ absentee landlords’ in the sense that they played no part in the agricultural economy but just claimed rent.They frequently did not live in the village either, but were based in town and cities.
  • The land rights were given to the next layer of claimants, those who were involved in the management of agriculture but were not themselves the cultivators.
  • These intermediate castes depended on lower caste for tilling and tending the land. However, once they got land rights, they acquired considerable economic power.
  • The large number of intermediate caste gave them political power in the era of electoral democracy based on universal adult franchise.

Thus, these intermediate castes became the ‘dominant’ castes in the country side and played a decisive role in regional politics and the agrarian economy.

Question 3 : The Khasi matriliny generates intense role conflict for men. Elaborate. ( Delhi 2019 )

Answer : The Khasi matriliny generates intense conflicts for men in following ways :

  • Khasi matriliny generates intense role conflict for men. They are torn between responsibilities to their natal house on one hand and to their wife and children on the other.
  • There is an inherent disagreement in matrilineal systems. On the one hand, the line of descent and inheritance, where woman inherits property from her mother and passes it to her daughter. The other structure of authority and control is where a man control his sister’s property and passes on control to his sister’s son. The farmer, which links the mother to the daughter, comes in conflict with the latter, which links the mother’s brother to the sister’s son.
  • The tension generated by such role conflict affect Khasi women more intensely. A woman can never be fully assured that her husband does not find his sister’s house a more pleasant place than her own.
  • Thus, men are the power holders in Khasi society, the only difference is that a man’s relatives on his mother’s side matter more than his relatives on his father’s side.

Question 4 : Read the passage and answer the question that follow.

The precise relationship between varna and jati has been the subject of much speculation and debate among scholars. the most common interpretation is to treat varna as a broad all-India aggregative classification, while jati is taken to be a regional or local sub-classification involving a much more complex system consisting of hundreds or thousands of castes and sub-castes.

Caste is an institution uniquely associated with Indian sub-continent. Define caste and explain how it emerged in Indian subcontinent ? What is the difference between Jati and Varna ?

Answer : Caste is a cultural institution that is special to the Indian subcontinent. Although similar social structures have been found in other parts of the world, the exact type has yet to be discovered.  Despite the fact that caste is a Hindu institution, it has spread to the Indian subcontinent’s main non-Hindu groups. Muslims, Christians and Sikhs are particularly affected.

(i) ‘Caste’ is a social institution that has been in existence for thousands of years.’Caste’, an English word is derived from a Portuguese word ‘ Casta’ , meaning pure breed. In Indian language it is referred to two distinct terms, varna and jati.

(ii) Varna : The word varna literally means colour, but it refers tothe four fold division of society nto – brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra.

Jati: The word jati generally refers to the species or kinds of all things. In Indian languages, it is a term that refers to the institution of caste. The relationship between the terms and meaning of Varna and Jati has been a subject of much discussion amongest scholars.

The loss of the forests on which most tribal communities depended has been a major blow. Forests started to be systematically exploited in British times and the trend continued after Independence. The coming of private property in land has also adversely affected tribals, whose community-based forms of collective ownership were placed at a disadvantage in the new system. The most recent such example is the series of dams being built on the Narmada, where most of the costs and benefits seem to flow disproportionately to different communities and regions.

Question 5 : The imperatives of ‘ development’ have influenced state policies and shaped attitudes towards tribes. Explain the relationship between national development and tribal development.

Answer : National development is a broad concept that encompasses raising people’s living standards, the per capita income, and providing social services such as education, medical care, and social services to the country’s citizens. Tribal growth seeks to put together people who want to contribute to the empowerment of the country’s Scheduled Tribes. The group as a whole is looking for ways to solve the problems around a holistic and all-encompassing tribal growth plan.The goal is to establish an enabling environment with equitable opportunities for education, health, and livelihood, as well as to ensure the tribal community’s long-term development while maintaining their distinct identities and cultures.

Large dams, factories and mines were built as part of national growth, specially during  the Nehruvian period. Tribals have paid a disproportionate price for the growth of the rest of Indian society because they live in mineral-rich and forest – covered areas of the region. The mainstream has benefited from this growth at the detriment of the tribes.