Life in the Indian Caste System

By: Alexandria Summers, Nick Saginario, Josh Seech

Brief Introduction of the Caste System

The caste system is a rigid social structure in India. Despite the fact that the caste system was outlawed in India in 1950, it's still a prominent issue today. Caste discrimination has been going on for thousands of years and the people don't seem to be willing to let go of this social hierarchy that has controlled every part of their lives for so long.
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Brahmans (priests)

A Brahmin is a member of the Caste System, more specific a high ranking member of the cast system. Brahmins are high ranking priest of Hinduism. It was founded by Bharata. Bramins are engaged in attending the highest spiritual meetings. He is responsible for religious spiritual rituals in temples and peoples homes. Some Brahmins were also warriors.Brahmans have a variety of different occupations. Some of them own land, partake in agriculture, household jobs, government official, business, things of that sort. Agriculture is their main source of occupation. They are predominantly strict vegetarians. They don’t smoke, drink, or allow women. You can get married at the age of 18. The marriage is arranged by the parents. Other classes wanted to be the Brahmins because their life was simple and the were highly viewed because their place in political topics and involvement in the community.
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Kshatryias (warriors)

Kings and Warriors, kings were required to have an understanding of weapons to become King. Both the king and warriors were required to study. Most of the Kshatriya warriors were authorized to take up a craft. The lower classes would like to be this class due to having a better education than most of the other classes.

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Vaiskas (merchants, commoners)

Landowners, traders, and moneylenders. The traders of the Vaishya were credited for the spreading of their religion. The lower classes would like to be this class for the money they had. They also had a better knowledge in business and trade.

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Sudras (peasants)

The Sudras are the traditional labor class. According to the myth that the castes are descended from parts of the god Purusha, the Sudras are from the feet. This means that while they are necessary for Indian life, they are significantly lower in class. According to ancient tradition, upper caste members cannot eat food prepared by a Sudra, use a vessel that a Sudra used or get touched by a Sudra. In modern times however, while the discrimination that Sudras face is not remotely close to the level the Dalits have to deal with, it still remains a problem in their life.
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Dalits (Untouchables)

The Dalits descended from the Sudras that did the dirtier work. People in other classes cannot even interact with the "Untouchables". However, the people who suffer the most in the caste system are without a doubt Dalit women. In this male-dominated society even the highest of women have little rights. In ancient India killing a Dalit women is equal to killing an animal. The Dalits face the worst of caste discrimination. According to a study in 2007, Dalit children are segregated in village schools. They are denied water and the right to vote. Even if the Dalits convert, the horrific prejudices of the caste system follow them to other religions.