Caste System in India

Posted on 30. Aug, 2012 by in Hindi Language

Many of you might have heard about the caste system of India. Sadly yes, it is true that India has a caste based society. Though the castes are usually linked to Hindus but almost all religion in India are affected with it.

Caste system (जाति व्यवस्था – Jati Vyavastha) is one of the greatest evil of Indian society (भारतीय समाज - Bhartiya Samaaj). This system is over 3000 year old social stratification (विभाजन – Vibhaajan) system of the Indian society. In many ways, this system is the best example of severe social discrimination (भेदभाव – Bhedbhaav) as well as exploitation of a class (वर्ग – Varg) by other classes in a multi-class society. The discrimination was such severe that people from one class (upper caste) would not touch the people from another class (lower caste). These people of lower caste are usually termed as अछूत (Achut- Untouchable). Under constitutional laws such discrimination is illegal and punishable under law. However, such system does exist in present Indian society though the discrimination is not as severe as it used to be some 65 years ago, when the constitution of Independent India gave equal rights to each and every citizen of India.

But how such discriminatory system came into existence?

The caste system has its origin in the ऋग्वेद (Rig Ved), one of the oldest scripture of Hinduism. It describes these social classes which are called वर्ण (Varn). There is four basic varnas in the Indian society which are:

1. ब्राह्मण – Brahman – Priests, Teachers, etc
2. क्षत्रिय – Kshatriyas – Warriors
3. वैश्य – Vaishyas – Traders, Farmers etc
4. शूद्र – Shudras – Workmen

It was assumed that the Brahmin (Upper caste) will perform the task like rituals, teaching, etc. The Kshatriyas will perform the duty related to warfare. The Vaishyas will take care of economy. The Shudras will help above 3 castes. The system was a representative as to how the society should work. At some point of time, the 5th class was also added into the society which consist of out-caste (Chandala – banish from the society). The 4th and 5th class together make so called the lower caste.

In the same scriptures which talk about the classes also mention clearly that every person is born as शूद्र (Shudra) and based on this his education as well as occupation, he or she will elevates to any of four classes. However, at some of time, the system was made closed and the classes would be made hereditary. This is the point where the problem of caste based discrimination and exploitation started. Since then it has robbed the aspiration and potential of millions of people by forcing a non-voluntarily enslavement onto them.

To tackle this menace, soon after the independence of India in 1947, the Indian government has implemented the laws which give the equal status to every citizen (नागरिक – Naagrik) of India and at the same time, recognized the social stratification of Indian society. Commission as well as law has been passed and implemented for the welfare (कल्याण – Kalyaan) as well as protection against the caste based discrimination respectively. B. R. Ambedkar, a lower caste himself, from India is considered a pioneer in the field of uplifting the lives of Untouchables. He also wrote the constitution of India and envisaged the above-mentioned laws. The law has empowered the people from the lower caste to stand equal in social, academic and political sphere.

It was assumed that the laws will eradicate the caste system. But did it actually solve the problem? What about the mindset of present Indian society about the caste system? Have people mindset changed over the 65 years of Indian Independence? Why the issue related to Untouchables, the lower caste still clouds Indian society?

If you will ask any Indian about it, many will humbly accept it while claiming that the problem has been solved to greater extend with the present generation and the masses in urban cities. However, the matrimonial pages on each and every newspaper (समाचार – पत्र – Samaachar-Patr) will falsify such claims where people specify their caste and looking the partners with same caste as an inter-caste marriage (विवाह – Vivaah) is not allowed by the Caste based Indian society. News of atrocity (क्रूरता – Krurta) against the lower caste mass are quite common.

In my opinion, the caste based society has no relevance in the present time and because of its discriminatory conduct. Every person has a potential and every society must nourish it to evolve into a developed and civilized society.

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About Nitin Kumar

Nitin Kumar is a native Hindi speaker from New Delhi, India. His education qualification include Masters in Robotics and Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering.Currently, He is works in the Research and Development in Robotics in Germany. He is avid language learner with varied level of proficiency in English, German, Spanish and Chinese, Japanese and Russian. He wish to learn French one day. His passion for languages motivated him to share his mother tongue, Hindi, and culture and traditions associated with it. He has been working with Transparent Language in 2010 and since then has written over 350 blogs on various topics on India, its culture, Hindi language and traditions. He is also the Administrator for Hindi Facebook page which has a community of over 330,000 members.

14 Responses to “Caste System in India”

  1. sumit singh 30 August 2012 at 10:50 am #

    caste system, huh please ye caste system ko to aaj tak humari goverement ne hi bnaye rakha hua hai reservation de ke main v ek upper cast se hu aur muj ye baat graduation main form bharte wakt pata chali ye jo discrimination ki baat hoti hai na ye sab usi wajah se hai aaj reseravation na hota to shayad jafi kam ho chuka hota ye caste sysytem kam se kam bade shahro main to jaroor .aur ye jo inter cast marriage ki baat ki to kaun sa same catigorey wale hi apne main shadi kar lete hai general wala v usmain bhi specifialy ek sir name se hi karta hai shadi aur sc st obc sab main yahi hota ye aapas main khu nahi karte to kya chahte hai kaise khtm hoga sab

  2. Vlad 31 August 2012 at 7:42 am #

    Modern India has a new caste system. There are many new castes. Among them: MSc, PhD, MBBS, SWE, CCNA, MBA, BBA, BCE, etc.

    Indian matrimonial pages look almost indistinguishable from job ads: “A bride is wanted with a fair skin and a graduate degree in any technical field except IT”.

    This new caste system is as destructive as the traditional one because most Indians now study in universities not in order to learn skills but to improve their status.

    If the Government ban this new caste system, I am sure that Indians will design some other caste system.

  3. Anil Abhimanyu Sharma 31 August 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Do you know where this word “caste” comes from????????????? It is neither a Hindi word nor english, latin, greek……

  4. Nitin Kumar 31 August 2012 at 10:24 am #

    It came from Latin word Castus . Obviously, you did not search for it but assumed that it has no origin.

  5. Anil Abhimanyu Sharma 31 August 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Do you know who brought this word to India?

  6. Anil Abhimanyu Sharma 31 August 2012 at 10:27 am #

    Caste has NOTHING to do with Jati my friend…

  7. Nitin Kumar 31 August 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Jati is called Caste. You are confused with Varna, which means class. All caste in Shudra and Chandala Varna (class) is termed as the lower caste.

  8. Anil Abhimanyu Sharma 31 August 2012 at 10:32 am #

    When you will know the origins of ‘Jati’ and ‘Caste’ you will know how many words have been imposed on Bharat… Have you seen what’s written on your passport cover?

  9. Nitin Kumar 31 August 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Just like Surya means Sun, in the same way Jati means Caste in English. It is called translation. Nothing is imposed, Caste system is more than 3000 year old. It is not brought by any invader. Also, all comments unrelated to the comment will be removed as it is not a personal blog.

  10. Anil Abhimanyu Sharma 31 August 2012 at 10:55 am #

    I was not talking about ‘the system’. I was talking about the word “caste”. It does not mean Jati. That’s all!

  11. Nitin Kumar 31 August 2012 at 11:00 am #

    As I said, it is same. You can call it Jati (in Hindi) or Caste (in English), at least in the context of the Indian social system.

  12. THAKUR ABHISHEK SINGH 30 January 2013 at 7:54 am #

    CASTE SYSTEM IS BED IDEA IS HUNDUS

  13. Dila Singh 8 April 2013 at 7:05 am #

    Dear Sumit Singh & other friends…..mai aap logo se puchhna chahta hu ki jab manu ne manusmiriti mai char varna likhe thai kya us samay desh mai ye sarkare thi….jo aaj ho raha h ye sab usi ka natiza h aur iska sabse jyada asar yaha ke mulniwasiyon yani dalit par pada h..ye samaj sadiyon se bhugat raha h….Reservation se jati nahi bani h,Jati se reservation Bana h…

  14. Harbans Lal Badhan 12 August 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Indian Caste system is more dangerous,cruel,barbarous, violent, hard, rigid, inhuman and harmful than any other kind of Racial discrimination or Slavery system. It (Indian Caste system)is an unnatural and unscientific man made system, made by the antisocial elements and the enemies of society and state. It (Indian Caste system) divides the society. It(Indian Caste system)is not only a social,economic,political and religious evil but also a mental disease and mental sickness. It (Indian Caste system) should be banned at any cost by Act of Parliament or by the Law of the State. Otherwise it (Indian Caste system) will spoil and kill the democratic institutions and secularism of any great civilization or state and society. It (Indian Caste system) will also slaughter the unity,peace and economic and scientific development and progress of state and society or civilized society. Indian Caste system is not only a devil but also a monster, who destroy the principle of equality, liberty and fraternity. It (Indian Caste system)is also an enemy of social justice, social equality and fundamental rights of an individual. To believe in Untouchability and Caste is not only a crime against humanity but also a violation of human rights of an individual. It(Indian Caste system) is more dangerous and harmful than chemical weapons. Indian Caste system is a great challenge and threat to global society.


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