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Social conditions 

Rapid changes took place in the social conditions during this period.

Caste System

  • The four castes of the Vedic period continued. Three others are mentioned in the foreign records of the period—the royal caste, Chandalas, and the Lahud. 
  • The Lahuds were probably wandering tribes were fond of amusements and games of skill. 
  • Al-Beruni brackets the Brahmanas and Kshatriyas on the one hand, and the Vaishyas and the Shudras on the other. 
  • He further says that these groups lived together not only in towns and villages but also in the same house in spite of wide differences between them. 
  • It was in this period that the Kayasthas came into prominence as the writer caste.
  • There was rigidity in respect of caste occupation. The Brahmanas were engaged in professions which did not belong to them. 
  • For example, some of them took agriculture. What is true of the Brahmanas is true of the other three castes, as well as the mixed castes. 
  • Vaishyas and Shudras became rulers of big kingdoms. Kshatriyas took trade.
  • The idea of untouchability was gaining ground. A twice-born man, on seeing a Shudra, was required to stop performing his rite. On touching him, he must take a bath. However, Shudra's right to personal freedom was recognized.
  • It is said that the bodies of Shudras, Vaishyas, Kshatriya, and Brahmanas were carried out of the city through different gates.
  • With regard to foreign races that had settled in India, the records reveal that most of them were assimilated within the Hindu social system. 
  • Thus the Hunas and the Parihars or Pratihars found a place among the thirty-six Rajput clans. 
Social Conditions | History for UPSC CSE

 

                                                 Social Conditions | History for UPSC CSE
Social Conditions | History for UPSC CSE
    Social Conditions | History for UPSC CSE
  Social Conditions | History for UPSC CSE

Slavery

  • We do not have much information about slavery
  • The law books recommended the humane treatment of the slave and his family. 
  • In south India, temples purchased slaves. Slave trade was also known.  

Position of Women

  • Women were required to be obedient to their husbands and were guarded by all their male relations of all times
  • Yet we find women belonging to upper classes in certain regions playing an important part in administration. 
  • In countries like Kashmir, women acted as rulers
  • In Karnataka, they served as provincial governors.
  • As regards marriage rules, intermarriages of twice-born men with girls of other varnas were prohibited. 
  • The intermarriage of a Brahmana with a Kshatriya or a Vaishya girl was made exceptional. 
  • In the case of marriages in the natural order (Anuloma), the son took the caste of the mother and in the case of the other types of marriages (Pratiloma), the son took the caste of his father. 
  • Pratiloma connections had long been banned. Marriage with the daughter of a maternal uncle was condemned. 
  • Similarly, Gandharva's form of marriage was not favoured. Generally, one married a girl very much younger than them. Child marriage was known. 
  • Bride price was strongly condemned. Bridegroom price was not thought of during this period. 
  • Women were permitted to remarry under certain conditions such as the death of the husband. 
  • Sometimes, husbands were chosen at a swayamvara ceremony with the approval of the parents.
  • Sati was practiced in some parts of the country like Kashmir. It was prevalent mostly in royal and high families. It was however voluntary. 
  • The custom of dedicating maidens for service in temples was continued. Prostitution was a recognized institution.
  • The prostitute was expected to possess very high qualifications of both body and mind.
  • Few More Informations
  • According to the Tibetan tradition, Dharmapala founded the famous Vikramashila monastery near modern Bhagalpur. He also patronized the great Buddhist author Haribhadra.
  • Dharmapala’s son Devapala received an embassy from Balaputradeva, the Sailendra king of  East Indies, and gave it a grant of five villages in order endow a monastery at Nalanda.
  • The rise of Kaivarta chief's positions of power and wealth in the latter days of the Pala dynasty shows that careers were open to men of talent irrespective of caste and creed.
  • The most important event of the reign of Amoghavarsha was that he fixed his capital at Manyakheta (now Malkhed in Andhra Pradesh).
  • The great extent and prosperity of the Pratihara empire are attested by the Muhammadan traveller Al Masudi, a native of Baghdad, who visited India in the year 915-16 A.D.
  • Arnoraja, a member of the Chalukya family of Gujarat, received a grant from Kumarapala the village Vyaghrapalli, where he settled with his family.
  • The Kalachuris of Chedi, also known as kings of Dahala, had their capital at Tripuri. The royal dynasty was founded about 845 A.D. by Kokalla I.
  • In order to celebrate the victory of Yuvaraja over the Rashtrakutas, the famous poet Rajasekhara, staged his drama Vidya salabhanjika.
  • Upendra alias Krishnaraja was the founder of the Paramara dynasty. He was originally the Governor of Malwa, appointed by the Rashtrakuta emperor Govinda III after he had conquered the province from Nagabhatta II.
  • The most powerful ruler of the Paramaras was Munja, also known as Utpala and Vakpatiraja II. His greatest enemy was Taila II.
  • Kallar was the founder of the Hindu Sahiyas dynasty. He is generally identified with Ralliya Shahi was highly praised in the Rajatarangini of Kalhana.
  • The Rashtrakuta rulers built the shrine at Elephanta, Chotta Kailasa, Indra Sabha, and Jagannatha Sabha temples.
  • Amoghavarsha wrote Kavirajam-area a Kanarese work on poetics. Jainsenai wrote the Adipurana, Sakatayana authored Amoghavritti, Mahavicharya produced the celebrated treatise Ganitasarasangraha.
The document Social Conditions | History for UPSC CSE is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC CSE.
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FAQs on Social Conditions - History for UPSC CSE

1. What are social conditions?
Ans. Social conditions refer to the various factors that influence and shape the well-being and quality of life of individuals within a society. These conditions include aspects such as education, healthcare, income inequality, employment opportunities, housing, and social support systems. Social conditions can have a significant impact on individuals' physical, mental, and social well-being.
2. How do social conditions affect people's lives?
Ans. Social conditions have a profound impact on people's lives. For example, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds may face limited access to quality education and healthcare, leading to lower opportunities for personal and professional growth. Inadequate social support systems can contribute to increased stress, mental health issues, and social isolation. Moreover, income inequality can create disparities in living standards and restrict access to basic needs and resources.
3. What role does social policy play in addressing social conditions?
Ans. Social policy refers to the actions and measures implemented by governments and organizations to address social issues and improve social conditions. It plays a crucial role in creating a more equitable and inclusive society. Social policies can involve initiatives such as income redistribution, affordable housing programs, healthcare reforms, and educational opportunities. By addressing the root causes of social inequalities, social policy aims to create a fairer and more just society.
4. How can individuals contribute to improving social conditions?
Ans. Individuals can contribute to improving social conditions in various ways. They can engage in volunteer work or join non-profit organizations that focus on addressing social issues. By supporting and advocating for policies that promote equality, individuals can contribute to creating a more just society. Additionally, individuals can educate themselves and others about social issues, promote empathy and understanding, and actively participate in community initiatives aimed at addressing social conditions.
5. What are some examples of social conditions that require attention?
Ans. Several social conditions require attention and action. Some examples include poverty and income inequality, inadequate access to healthcare and education, unemployment and job insecurity, discrimination and social exclusion based on race, gender, or other factors, and lack of affordable housing. Additionally, mental health issues and substance abuse problems are also significant social conditions that need attention. Addressing these issues requires a comprehensive approach involving various stakeholders, including governments, organizations, and individuals.
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