Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A new caste system?

In India: A history John keay walks us through the caste system. The caste system, when it began, was all about occupations, he says. Persons could move across the caste system depending on which occupation they chose to take. Thus, a priest could chose to become a businessman or vice versa and his caste would be determined as such.

What seems to have happened over time is perhaps that, lazy sons of fathers seem to have taken it as a birthright to continue what their fathers did. Over time, this could have evolved into a hard coded caste system.

Thinking about it today, we have a soft coded caste system(dynasty, if you will) that looks like it will evolve into a hard coded one. For instance, most scions of doctors become doctors. Sons and daughters of film actors/politicians join the same. Scions of sportspersons try to emulate their parents. While the doctor and educational qualification aided areas are still open to everybody, its difficult to make it as a lawyer, accountant, architect or dentist without some family backing. But in the areas without apparent qualifications, it is almost a family get together. So, is this a new caste system? Till the time they find their place under the sun, they are like the Coat tailers who typically dabble in a few things and then settle onto something that offers, usually, a path of least resistance.

1 comment:

Kaps said...

First time here. Thanks for linking to my article. As you rightly said, it is very difficult for new comers to gain a foothold in any of these professions. Even if you do so, you will only be setting up a base / foundation for your children. This is one of the reason's why I didn't start an CA practise after completing my CA.