Social Change

  • T. Scarlett Epstein


The Constitution of India accords each citizen equality before the law and makes discrimination by virtue of caste, religion, race, sex or place of birth a punishable offence (1955:5). At the same time it provides for favoured treatment for Scheduled Castes and Tribes (1955:105). The situation bred deep resentment among non-Brahmin castes, who form the bulk of India’s population. They were at a disadvantage, compared with Brahmins, in access to tertiary education and high-level appointments, while they did not qualify for preferential treatment reserved to Scheduled communities. Their political pressures exerted at Central and State Government levels resulted in the appointment by the Government of India of the Backward Classes Commission to determine the criteria by which sections other than the Scheduled Castes and Tribes could be treated as socially and educationally backward.


Joint Family Schedule Caste Share Family Schedule Tribe Joint Household 
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© T. Scarlett Epstein 1973

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  • T. Scarlett Epstein

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