Upper caste Hindus are the richest community in India owning 41% of total assets: Study


  • A recent wealth distribution survey revealed that just 22% of upper caste hindus own almost 41% of the total wealth in India.
  • According to the survey, the Scheduled Tribes accounted for the lowest share, in terms of assets at 3.7%.
  • Maharashtra, UP and Kerala are the wealthiest states in India that contribute to almost 50% of country’s wealth.
With caste and reservations stirring up debate in India on who is more entitled to affirmative action, a survey on wealth distribution on castes has revealed huge disparities in income and wealth status.

A recent wealth distribution survey has reportedly revealed that just 22% of upper caste hindus own a whopping 41% of most of the total assets with people in India, reported The Indian Express citing a recent study.

The study titled ‘Wealth Ownership and Inequality in India: A socio-religious analysis’ was conducted for two years by the Savitribai Phule Pune University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, Delhi.

While the upper caste Hindus form the richest community in India, the Hindu scheduled tribes in India account for the lowest share in terms of assets at 3.7%.

This stark difference in assets on the basis of socio-religious grounds comes around the time when the Indian government has recently announced 10% reservation quotas for government jobs and higher education admissions, for the ‘economically weaker sections,’ a move that is expected to mostly benefit the privileged classes.

Despite efforts to break down caste barriers, caste still plays an oversized role in determining an individual’s occupation, income and assets of an individual.

“Ownership of assets, be it in the form of land or building, was found to be higher among Hindu High Castes (HHCs) than any other caste in India, Nitin Tagade, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) told Indian Express.

The study also identified five wealthiest states -- Maharashtra, UP, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Haryana, which hold 50% of the countries wealth.

The study covered 1,10,800 people — 56% which were covered from urban areas and the rest from rural areas— from 20 Indian states.

The top 1% of the richest in India owns 25% of India’s assets while the top 5% (in terms of wealth) own 46% of country’s total assets, reported The Indian Express

The Hindu upper caste accounted for nearly 34.9% of the urban wealth in India while they only had 16.7% of the total wealth in the rural areas.

Separately, a study by poverty eradicating organisation, Oxfam, revealed that in 2018, 1% of the richest Indians collectively increased their wealth by around 39%.

The study highlighted that over the past hundreds of years, Hindu high castes have enjoyed the right to property and education.

See also:
India’s ‘wealthy elite’ are expected to increase by 87% over the next five years: Report

More than 77% of India’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of just 10% of its population — and it shows that its economic divide is only widening
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