By Diane Mines
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Additional info for Caste in India
By the British to be representatives of what they considered the "natural" communities of caste and religion. Community leaders were to pay obeisance of a sort to the British command and were granted rights accordingly. Granting communities special voting rights, such as the Morley-Minto Pact had done for the Muslim minority, followed in part from this British conception of caste and religion as the natural social units of Indian society. Indians continued to press for greater political power, especially in the wake of World War I.
This idea of a separate electorate for Muslims was intended to ensure that the Muslim minority would have a voice in governance. This provision was to have a lasting impact on Indian politics and fed directly into the dispute on untouchability that this chapter relates. by the British to be representatives of what they considered the "natural" communities of caste and religion. Community leaders were to pay obeisance of a sort to the British command and were granted rights accordingly. Granting communities special voting rights, such as the Morley-Minto Pact had done for the Muslim minority, followed in part from this British conception of caste and religion as the natural social units of Indian society.
Gandhi went on to suggest that the British knew very well that such divisions would follow and for this very reason they pushed the 1932 legislation calling for a separate Untouchable electorate. To protect Congress's Hindu base, as well as, perhaps, his idealized vision of Hinduism as a socially cooperative system, Gandhi continued his fast until Ambedkar was more or less forced to relent in order to save the life of Gandhi, who was by now an international star and national leader of great charisma and power.