This module explores how the institution of caste has been used to understand Indian society since the mid-19th century. The overview article is on Rabindranath Tagore's ideas and opinions about caste; allied articles focus on perceptions of caste by the literati of 19th-century Bengal and on the historical and cultural politics of caste in Bengal specific to the Mahisya community in Midnapore. Interviews with experts discuss reactions in the form of social and political movements against the caste system.