To what extent do you think caste was a factor in influencing social and economic relations in agrarian society?

Caste has greatly influenced social and economic relations of the people in an agrarian society. Because of caste-based inequalities or distinctions, we find many heterogeneous groups in the society. Many of those who tilled the land, worked as menials or agriculture labourers (majors) As they did menial jobs in society, they were relegated to poverty. They had the lowest position in the caste hierarchy as they lacked resources.

Such caste-based distinctions and inequalities were also found in the Muslim communities where people did scavenging. They lived outside the boundaries of the village. Thus, there was a direct co-relation between caste, poverty and social status at the lower level. But at the intermediate level, these co- relations were not so marked. In the 17th century, Marwar Rajputs were considered as important as the Jats, though these Jats had a lower status in the caste hierarchy. On the other hand, the Gauravas, who cultivated land near Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, sought Rajput status in the 17th century. Similarly Ahirs, Gujjars and Malis rose in the caste hierarchy because they earned huge profits. In the end, we can say that caste is a great determining factor in both social and economic relations.