Limitations/Weakness of Caste Movement in India

some of the movements exhibited an elite-based conservative trend. They show reactionary tinge and undemocratic fervor as well. The elephants of progressivism were absent in these movements. They stood for special favors and representation.

These movements aimed at upward social mobility of upper caste non-brahmins vis-a-vis the brahmins. Instead of rejecting the hierarchical principle, they drew heavily on it to reinstate their position and status.

These trends are discernable in the justice party movement, self-respect movement in Andhra Pradesh, and Satyashodhak samaj movement under Shaha of Kolhapur.

Some of these movements had a small social base. They could not bring the people of lower strata into the vortex of the movement. The non-brahmin groups they incorporated did not encompass the untouchables and the most oppressed classes.

Social radicalism, a somewhat revolutionary aspect of these movements could not percolate down to the low strata of the society for whom it was meant for.

The justice party movement remained an elitist conflict basically, the self-respect movement included only the landed elements and business groups.

Some of these movements had a pro-British attitude, they were anti-congress as well. This poor comprehension of the British rule generated faith in their goodwill and their progressive role, the faith in their mission of creating an enlightened society.

Some of the caste leaders could not perceive that the British too represented reactionary forces; and in this sense, they had considerable similarities with the other socio-religious forces against which they stood for.

These movements did not develop an independent nationalist strategy. They were never the part of the mainstream movement-most of the movements showed anti-congress stance.

The weakness of these movements in this context lay in the fact that any movement being progressive in character was to come to terms with the congress movement, for it represented progressive forces being democratic, multiclass, anti-imperialistic, and pro-people.

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