Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Impact Of British Colonialism on the Indian Caste System and

No description

Sarah Gonzalez

on 14 April 2014

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Impact Of British Colonialism on the Indian Caste System and

Women in India
During British colonialism in India, women were subjected to large amounts of oppression and injustice from their male counterparts.

The Indian Caste System
The Indian Caste system is one of the most defining and influential aspects of Indian culture. The caste system separates people into five distinctive categories based on social stature and each person’s role in the community. The five main distinct groups or “varnas” that make up the Indian caste system are the Brahman, the Kshatriya, the Vaishya, the Shudra, and the Harijan, or “untouchables.” The five groups are then broken down even further into thousands of different subdivisions known as “jati.” People belonging to the higher Varnas are generally not allowed to interact romantically, socially, or politically with people of the lower Varnas, and same goes for interaction between the jatis. The Indian caste system has been influenced by several different outside influences and historical events throughout the centuries, but British Colonialism was by far one of the most pivotal occurrences that shaped and perpetuated the caste system.

Effects of British Colonialism on Indian Caste System
In attempt to learn and understand more about the Indian society, the British decided to conduct India’s first ever census. The census was first held in 1871 and is still conduct every ten years in India today.

British Colonialism and Christianity
The British Colonialists used the Indian Caste system to modify Christianity in order to make it more appealing to Indians when institutionalizing the nation through colonialism. Within the Christian churches of India, there's a reflection of the caste system within the clergy, as it was stratified by seniority, and in amongst the parishioners (as they were often seated in church based on their traditional caste position). Additionally, the rituals in the Indian Christian churches adapted to the caste system as the festivals hosted by the church allowed more participation to higher caste Christians who used them as a show of wealth. However, as Christianity was mostly rejected in India, Christians became a lower caste themselves in wider British society. The "Dalit" (low caste) Christians face discrimination in the face of the broader Indian society.
Impact Of British Colonialism on the Indian Caste System and its women
Indian Caste System Overview
The Brahmins are the Priests and are the highest Varna of the caste system. This picture depicts a typical Indian Brahmin.

The Kshatriyas are the warriors and represent the second highest Varna of the caste system. This picture depicts a typical Indian Kshatriya.

The Vaishyas are the merchants and agriculturists and make up the third highest Varna of the caste system. This picture depicts a typical Indian Vaishya.

The Shudras are the servants and workers and are the fourth highest Varna of the caste system. This picture depicts a typical Indian Shudra.

The “untouchables” are the lowest Varna of the caste system and are sometimes not even recognized as a real caste, but rather as an outside group of people. This picture depicts typical Indian Harijans.

Harijan / “Untouchables”
Impact of British Colonialism on Indian Caste System
In the novel Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India by Nicholas B. Dirk, Dirk argues that the British were actually the ones who gave the Indian Caste system its name.  It was under the British that ‘caste’ became a single term capable of expressing, organizing, and above all ‘systematizing’ India’s diverse forms of social identity, community, and organization. Overall Dirks claims that the only impact the British had on the caste system was giving it its name.

The Untouchables
This video portrays the lives of the untouchables. At the beginning of the video a man who belong to the Brahmin caste is interviewed and demonstrates how the Indian society treat the untouchables.

This image shows the territory the British had conquered just two years prior to India’s independence in 1947.

British Colonialisms impact on Indian Caste System
Dalit Christians protesting for rights in India, attempting to defy the Caste system that they are being discriminated against under.
William Carey, a British Baptist colonialist missionary who traveled to India during the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. He is know as the 'Father of Modern Missionaries' and spent much time translating the Bible in to languages like Bengali and Sanskrit.
This is a map of India in which the regions have been colored to designate the number of Christians present as a percentage of the total population. Most Christian Indians live in the very south of the Sub-Continent
A group of British colonists in the early twentieth century posing with high caste Indians.
A young Indian girl on the cover of a mid-twentieth century British mission informational pamphlet. It was meant to encourage British Anglican denomination youth to travel to India on Christian missions.
Essentially, females were as powerless as the untouchables. They could not vote, they could not own property, they could not even be in charge of leading society; their voice was unheard while men were the priests, warriors, and laborers.

Women in India
Much of Indian art and literature depict the role that women had. In The Ramayana written by R. K. Narayan, the main character Rama has a wife named Sita. They married not based on Sita’s desire, but on her dad’s authority.

Women in India
Women in India
The oppression towards Indian women began during the British colonialism era. Western values were deeply rooted on a paternal society and because the British were one of the most powerful group at the time, much of their philosophies were influential; thus India adopted the Western values and incorporated it into their society.

One common practice that women were forced into was sati. If a man died, he would be cremated, and his wife would be burned alive so as to be together eternally.

Women in India
Women in India
Before British colonialism, the rights of women appeared to be more liberal. They were capable of re-marrying, divorcing, owning land, and having power. Hinduism, which was and still is the most prominent religion in India, is based on millions of gods and goddesses. The female deities were just as respected as the male gods, and men and women of the Hindu faith prayed to many of them because of their power. The British needed a way to have full control over India which led to them not only creating gaps between each caste, but gaps between genders as well. Therefore, they began to define and cultivate the roles of each caste, along with the roles of each gender; and Indian society began to accept these customs.

Women in India
Eventually, British feminists noticed the unfair treatment to Indian women and began to take a stand and assisted them with fighting for rights and power. Reforms and revolution began to take place, not only amongst women, but amongst men who wanted to rebel from British rule. These events all triggered what was to be the end of Bristish Colonialism

Gradually, Indian women gained rights. They can once again vote, remarry, and divorce. Inter-caste marriages are occurring more often and India has even passed many sanctions that outlaw the caste system as whole. However, many people still have the discriminatory outlooks that were held for such a long time and women are still subjugated to prejudice. With due time, India will be able to lessen the prejudice not just among women but among all members based on their caste.

Women in India
WOH 2001: Team 6
Sarah Gonzalez
Roxanna Etessam
Janet Garcia
Shelbi Garrett
Jasmine Geonaga
Margarita Freshman
Full transcript