The Indian Subcontinent

How does India’s caste system work?

The caste system is the extremely rigid, hierarchical social class system of India. Based on the ancient Hindu text “Law of Manu,” the caste system consists of four categories: Brahmans (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaisyas (merchants), and Sudras (servants). There are many people who are considered to be outside of the caste system, or who have no caste, called the Harijans or untouchables. The untouchables serve the most menial jobs and live literally outside of the social class system. The caste system in India dictates not only one’s profession, but also whom one can marry, social contacts, and all other aspects of life.


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