Explain the caste according to Indian urban communities.
In the urban areas, because of new occupational structures, an occupation free caste structure emerged. Caste and occupation were delinked because recruitment to the new occupation was based-on technical skills, which would be acquired through formal, modem education. The process of Urbanization has reduced the physical and ritual distance between the higher and the lower castes. largely because of reduced physical segregation between castes and a more secular settlement pattern peculiar to urban centers.
A number of castes groups have come up to protect the interests of their own caste members. The examples of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) in U. P. and Kshetkari Sangathan in Maharashtra go to prove that the economic functions of caste have undergone transformation, but caste as a unit of social organization has survived because of its adaptive capabilities.
Caste associations link members of a caste within a region and influence the political process especially electoral politics, significantly. Such horizontal unity of caste provides ‘vote-bank’ that ensures election of the same caste candidate. Rules of commonality (eating together) does not hold meaning in an urban context. Inter-caste marriages are more frequent. Thus, caste has become more flexible and adapted itself to the changing circumstances.
Sylvia Vatuk, in her study of Meerut city, found persistence of the similar pattern of kinship organization, as found in the villages, in the older and poorer sections of the city. It shows that there is no distinct change in the traditional family and kinship system in the urban areas.