Discrimination on the basis of caste has long been forbidden according to the the Indian constitution, but the caste system still plays a significant role in various ways in Indian society. Last year a political decision to increase affirmative action to include also "other backward castes" in the educational system stirred riots and protests throughout the country.
A new area of caste debate is taking place, this time regarding the Indian police force. Last week a committee decided that in order to be promoted, police officers must pass a new assesment test where attitude towards collegues with backward caste will be tested. Today, how long it takes before you can be promoted in the police force is based partly on your caste background. An officer from a lower or backward caste can get promoted a couple of years eralier than his/her higher caste collegues. According to critics of the assesment test and these kind of caste based affirmative actions (sve. positiv särbehandling), once again caste is being used as a political tool for getting votes in the ongoing elections from the large part of the population who belongs to these lower/backward castes.