Continuity and Changes in ‘Caste System’ among Mauritian Hindu

Author Name

Dr. Munnalal Gupta

Author Address

Assistant Professor, Department of Migration & Diaspora Studies Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi vishvavidyalaya, Wardha, Maharashtra (NAAC ‘A’ accredited Central University) E-mail: [email protected]


multiethnic, multi-religious, multicultural multilingual caste system, socio-cultural baggage, intrinsic relationship, caste endogamy, katha maraz


Mauritius is a multiethnic, multi-religious, multicultural and multilingual society. All the three stocks of human races the Aryans, the Negros and the Mongols co-exist here. The presence of Indian socio-cultural baggage in Mauritius is the result of Indian migration in different historical phases and pattern (as military, slave, convict, indenture, business man). These Indian migrants were belonging to different castes. The Hinduism is largest religion in Mauritius representing approximately 48.5 percent of the total population of the country (Census 2011). Despite long period of under Western influence and inter-racial, inter-ethnic interaction the ‘Caste System’ still persists in Mauritius, among descendents of Indian indenture migrants but not in the same form as in India society. There is intrinsic relationship between caste system and Hinduism, which is axiomatic in nature. The caste appears in wedding ceremony (caste endogamy), commensality, ritual, devotional practices, caste based association and political activities.

It is fair to say that system and documentation related to indentured migration has contributed in social mobility of some castes; those who wished for a higher caste identity were able to achieve this through changing caste names. In Mauritius, many communities exclusively associate a caste name with an occupation. The Brahmin will then be the priest, even if many priests (in Mauritius) are of a lower caste. The funeral specialist is bound to be a lower caste, because dealing with the impurities of death, is called katha maraz

n present research paper the continuity & changes within contemporary caste structures among Mauritian Hindu will be discussed based on semi-structured interviews from the people related to high and low caste identity within Hindus of Mauritius.


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