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Gender, Religion and Caste in Politics

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What Role Does Gender Religion and Caste Play in Politics?

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In this particular chapter, students will have an idea about the involvement of gender religion and caste in politics. We all know how in the field of politics nothing happens by coincidence. In order to gather more votes, politicians often tend to use every single aspect that they have in their folds. Some votes are cast based on gender and the religion that the person belongs to.

So, it is important for you to understand how the differentiation happens in politics on the basis of such aspects as religion or caste, or gender. After learning the notes from this chapter, students will have an idea about how gender religion and caste are used in the political scenario of the country.


The Role of Gender in Politics

From a strictly biological point of view, men and women tend to have different anatomies. However, this is a differentiation that is greatly carried out by Indian society as well. It is a fact that women have to go through discrimination in the worst way in some parts of India. Apart from the involvement of caste politics in India, there is also the use of gender to discriminate in the field of politics.

It is not that big of a surprise that the women are poorly represented in the political scenario of the country. So, how does this problem arise? Well, just like any other problem, it arises from the different stereotypes which are a part of society. In India, the roles and responsibilities of women are considered only in household areas and raising children. Hence, this perception of women has affected the political case of the country too.

However, essential steps have been taken recently to improve the situation in the best way with panchayats providing 1/3 of the seats to women.


The Role of Religion in Indian Politics

According to the constitution of India, there is no official religion to be followed by the citizens of the country. As a matter of fact, India calls itself a country that is secular in its religion. Hence, people belonging to different religions are allowed to reside in India and they can practice the different religions of their choosing. Also, there can be no discrimination done against people based on caste and religion.

However, in real life, the situation is much different. There is a huge role that religion and politics in India are severely mixed up.  Hence, it gets to play a crucial role in the political scene of the country. This is an idea that started Communalism.

The main idea behind it is that a particular religion or people belonging to an ethnic group can elect themselves as superior to the other religions that are present. The members present in this superior religion will align a party of their own instead of thinking about the greater good of the country. The religious politics in India is following this pattern for sure.

With the introduction of several political parties in India, communalism has actually been severely exploited by these parties to gain political power. For these people in the parties, this method acts as a way to gather more votes for their win by using religion and politics in India.

They often bring up issues related to minorities and stoke the fires of communalism in the people. This has led to a divide amongst the people as well. Such is the importance of religion in Politics that these parties often tend to get away with unlawful activities with the help of this weapon.


The Role of Caste in Indian Politics

Caste also tends to play a very important role in politics related to the country. It can also be said that the relation between caste and politics in India is pretty much the same as the case of religion. However, this particular aspect seems to be a bit more unique than others. Casteism and the selection of the government rulers based on the cast are seen nowhere in the world. However, in Indian politics, this aspect seems to have embedded itself quite deeply. That is one of the main reasons why people tend to give more importance to caste.

We all are familiar with the fact that the caste system in India has been prevailing for a very long time. The practices were very rigid and sparked hatred amongst the people belonging to different castes. This is something that is seen these days as well. The involvement of caste in politics is even more nowadays.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Difference Between Caste and Religion?

Ans: The difference between caste and religion is based on the purposes as well as the systems that it follows. While the cast of a person is responsible for having some sort of a social purpose in lifestyles and cultures, religions are mostly related to the deities of the people. Religion is known to precede the caste of a person. It is also said that most cast systems come from the religious philosophy followed by the people. When it comes to the castes, it mostly deals with different social structures related to the physical world whereas the religions mostly deal with metaphysical elements.

2. How Do Women Face Discrimination in the Country?

Ans: For a very long time, women have not had the chance to exhibit their skills and talents in any field. This was mostly because their roles were concerned with the household and children. This was the case in politics as well. The entire government was filled with male politicians. The stereotypes that women were only meant to look after the home gave birth to such inequalities. Women were portrayed as the weaker gender, not just in terms of physical strength but abilities as well. But times are changing now and more women are getting recognition in different professional fields including politics.