Sanskritization or Sanskritisation is a particular form of social change found in India. It denotes the process by which castes placed lower in the caste hierarchy seek upward mobility by emulating the rituals and practices of the upper or dominant castes. It is a process by which a low caste or a tribe or other group changes its customs, rituals, ideology, and a way of life in the direction of a high and frequently, twice born caste.
The concept ‘Sanskritization’ was first introduced by Prof. M.N. Srinivas the famous Indian sociologist. He explained the concept of sanskritization in his book “Religion and society among the coorgs of South India” to describe the cultural mobility in the traditional caste structure of Indian society.
Westernization improved communication and technology; it has tened the process of Sanskritization through religious propaganda and caste and communal congregation.
Higher castes gave up traditional customs and adopted the life style of the westerns . Lower castes aspiring for higher status filled the higher caste vacuum through Sanskritization.
Sanskritization does not always result in the higher status for the Sanskritized caste, and this is clearly exemplified by the untouchables.It was observed that the higher caste perhaps to maintain the social distance between them and the lower castes they have adopted the life style of westerns . By the time the lower caste reached their destiny through Sanskritization, the upper castes have vacated that place through westernization. However, aspiring sections of lower castes in towns and cities are going straight to weternization.
Sanskritization can apply to ritual and costume, to ideas and beliefs, to ideology and practice or to the religion. Beside this, the source of imitation can be the element described in various religious books like, Mahabharat, Geeta, or Ramayan.
Traditional occupation of Dalits such or sewing (Pariyar), iron-work (Kami), gold-work (Sunar), Katuwali (Pariyar), playing music (Pariyar), leather work , Hali system etc are declining in a faster pace now a days.