Tuesday, August 11, 2009


"The caste system is far from a rigid system in which the position of each component caste is fixed for all time. Movement has always been possible, and especially so in the middle regions of the hierarchy. A low caste was able, in a generation or two, to rise to a higher position in the hierarchy by adopting vegetarianism and teetotalism, and by Sanskritizing its ritual and pantheon. In short, it took over, as far as possible, the customs, rites, and beliefs of the Brahmins, and the adoption of the Brahminic way of life by a low caste seems to have been frequent, though theoretically forbidden. This process has been called -'Sanskritization'.”

Srinivas M. N., Caste in Modern India and other essays, 1962,Media Promoters and Publishers Pvt. Ltd. Bombay, pp 42. Chapter 2, A Note on Sanskritization and Westernization. Quoted by M. N. Srinivas from 'Religions and Society among the Coorgs of South India, Oxford, 1952, p.32.

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