The Caste System In India

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Let us start this essay with a provocative statement about the caste system in India.
The caste system is a virus in the Indian culture and society which has been etched quite deeply in the Indian psyche since time immemorial. For centuries, people in India were classified into a number of castes based on an unnatural division, and because this system prevailed for so long, it became a part of the Indian culture.
The above is how the caste system is perceived in the 21st century. This system of castes has existed in India since the Vedic times, but at that time, the system was known to be a peaceful one in the sense that, even though people were classified into different occupations based on their caste, there was no known discrimination as to one being better or more privileged than the other.
Very often, the word ‘caste’ and its meaning are confused with the term ‘varna’. What a lot of people do not know is that the word ‘caste’ in India refers to two concepts – ‘varna’ and ‘jati’. So, varnas are actually just a sub-part of caste, which consist of four (now, five) different social classes, namely the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, and the Dalits (or untouchables); and there are many thousands of Jatis which exist within the varnas. Another thing to keep in mind about castes and the caste system is that these castes are not chosen by the people, rather, the people are born into these castes which in turn, define their position in the society.
If one were to ever

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