Exploring the Hindu Caste System of India

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There is no single definition that is accepted for what the caste system means. When societies formed in India they were tribes, not castes, then came the caste system. This is stricter than social stratification. Most people who observe the caste system believe that it only has a religious background based on the religious texts: the Rig Veda and Bhagavad Gita. The caste system exits to maintain peace within society. Economic differences are very obvious: Brahmins are the patrons-priests of the country; Kshatriyas are the military forces- warriors; Vaishyas are the merchants who supply goods for the country’s survival; and Sudras are reserved to serve the other three castes. If one of these castes were not there, the entire country would go into chaos. To sum it up, the caste system is not only followed because of its religious background, but also to maintain social harmony and economic differences in the subcontinent of India. In English, castes are defined as a ranking system, however in the Indian culture, castes are two separate but related concepts: Varna and Jati. Varna consists of the main four groups seen as castes: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras. The Untouchables are a separate sub-caste assigned jobs that would pollute or shun the other four higher classes. Jati refers to the occupations within each of the four Varnas, which then are divided by birth. Besides birth and occupation, skin color also plays a role. Since the Aryans were white, they used to maintain their power over the darker- skinned Indian-Davidian speaking people. Therefore, one’s life is based on his heredity. Brahmins are the highest caste and are patriotic figures for the lower castes. They used to make up the priestly class... ... middle of paper ... ...Hall New-Jersey 1971) “Facts and Details, Hindu Caste System, Rules, Purity, and Identity,” last modified March 2011, http://factsanddetails.com/asian/cat64/sub413/item2626.html Kolanad Gitanjali, Culture Shock! India (Times Media Private Limited Singapore 2001) Moritsugu Ken. “Economic Boom Blurs Lines Among India’s Castes.” In USA Today, November 22,2006-, Accessed May 3, 2015. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/ “Patel Manisha” Interviewed by Banshri Patel. 10 minutes. April 26 2015. World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras, s.v. "Brahmins," accessed May 3, 2015. http://ancienthistory.abc-clio.com/. World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras, s.v. "caste system," accessed May 6, 2015. http://ancienthistory.abc-clio.com/. World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras, s.v. "varna," accessed May 3, 2015. http://ancienthistory.abc-clio.com/.

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