The Indian Caste System In India

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Caste system has become an inseparable aspect of the Indian society. Peculiarly Indian in origin and development, there is no comparable institution elsewhere in the world for the caste system. The Indian Caste System is historically one of the main dimensions where people are socially differentiated through class, religion, region, tribe, gender, and language, causing unequal access to valued resources like wealth, income, power and prestige, resulting in deprivation of human rights as a consequence of such differentiation. It is considered a closed system of stratification, with limits on interaction and behaviour with people from another social status. (Sekhon 2000:39) Risley defines caste as “a collection of families or groups of families bearing a common name; claiming a common descent from a mythical ancestor, human or divine; professing to follow the same hereditary calling, forming a single homogeneous community”. (Hutton 1963:47).

2. Caste System in India

The Indian caste system is a classification of people into four hierarchically ranked castes called varnas. They are classified according to occupation and determine access to wealth, power, and privilege. Initially, the system was created to promote the harmonious workings of society, but eventually, it has mostly through corruption, reached the prejudiced and discrimination-filled system of today. The Gita states that caste is not determined by birth but by behaviour. However, today people’s castes are
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