This study found that upper caste Indians own vast majority of wealth and assets in India though they make up lesser amount of population (refer). Even with all the reservation schemes in India, how is it that accumulated only in upper strata of castes?

One person commented it is due to capitalistic society, could the mechanism of how that led to wealth accumulation particularly in the Indian society be shown then?

  • 2
    There's no capitalism without wealth stratification & poverty, a caste system ensures who's on top of this stratification. Exaclty how the Indian caste system does so is a valid question IMO. I'm not sure if this is better here or on politics .SE since it deals with the present. Either site, you should show how much research you've done so far.
    – mart
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


Caste can be understood as a form of social capital. If members of any social group have even slightly better access to any kind of economic resources, that advantage has a general tendency to continue (if not magnify) over time unless the larger social structure itself changes. There are many different ways that this happens, but they mostly relate to all kinds of positive and negative discrimination in land, employment, education, housing, etc.

An October 2021 article in The Print has visualized data showing how Brahmins have higher levels of education, knowledge of English, and many similar advantages. As Brahmins generally marry other Brahmins, these kinds of advantages are passed on from generation to generation. This is in addition to the direct inheritance of material wealth, and all of these tangible and intangible advantages tend to reinforce one another.

For a more detailed analysis of how caste in India influences economic advantage, see the 2018 article in World Development "Caste and development: Contemporary perspectives on a structure of discrimination and advantage" by David Mosse.

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