The Effects Of The Indian Caste System

1120 words - 4 pages

Dating all the way back to 1200 BCE, social classes have helped define India’s politics, religion, and its society. The name of the system that the Indians used to classify social classes was the caste system, a way to classify people into ranks, called varnas. There are four ranks that were created in order to classify the people: at the top were the Brahmans, then the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas, and finally the Shudras. The Rig Vedas states that, “the first man created, Purusa, is sacrificed in order to give rise to the four varnas. The Brahmin was his mouth, his two arms were made the Rajanya [Kshatriya, king and warrior], his two thighs [loins] the Vaishya, from his feet the Sudra [servile class] was born” (History of the Caste System in India). Although the Vedas has only spoken of four classes, the Indian culture has adapted one on its own. This class is called the untouchables. The untouchables are a class derived from modern India society, they are classified as people who occupy occupations such as scavenging and skinning dead animals. Society is a very powerful thing, especially in India. These five caste systems have influenced almost all of India’s religion, politics, and society.
Although the enforcement of social classes has died down they can still influence modern India’s politics. One of the biggest ways that the social classes have influenced politics is by opinion. Almost a hundred percent of the time the Indian government will not listen to the lower classes of the Caste system, but only to the higher classes such as the Brahmans and the Kshatriyas. This may not sound like a big deal, however if the government doesn’t start to listen to its lower classes like the untouchables and the Sudras then there could be a possible war or even a rebellion. “In its preamble, India's constitution forbids negative public discrimination on the basis of caste” (U.S Library of Congress). Despite this India still mainly refuses to listen and accommodate the lower classes of the Caste system. Some say, “… Caste ranking and caste-based interaction have occurred for centuries and will continue to do so well into the foreseeable future…” (U.S Library of Congress). Overall the fact that this system still exists shocks me, especially after reading part of the preamble to India’s constitution.
The fact that when you visit India you can be one hundred percent sure that you will see children on the streets begging for money is quite disheartening. This is the result of social stratification and social inequality as well as the Caste system. With India’s population rising above 1.27 million people (Population of India) the amount of social stratification and inequality is equal to each other. Social stratification and social inequality are two completely different things. To have social stratification means to have a system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy. While social inequality means that some people systematically...

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