Caste System in India

1489 Words Jul 9th, 2018 6 Pages
In each society, there are different types of rules and ideologies that are used in order to help govern its people. Within these communities, these rules create a social hierarchy developed through a ranked system based on either economic value or religious beliefs. A type of ranked system that most people are familiar with is the Caste System in India, which is a system of classification in a society based on birth. This complex social structure is most prevalent in India, where social hierarchy is in affiliation with Hinduism. It recognizes two concepts known as Varna and Jati. Varna is a word in Sanskrit meaning color and includes four main groups: the Brahmans, Kshtriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. The fifth group, the most segregated …show more content…
They are forced, by the higher caste, to do degrading and dirty jobs, such as cleaning menstrual blood from cloth and disposing of the dead. Because of this, strict rules were set in order to ban them from entering any Varna temples, shops, or homes in fear of contamination from their impurity (Freeman, 1979: 50-53). Muli himself was prohibited from entering the teashop in the beginning of Freeman’s book because he was of the untouchable status. The boy who served him had to extend his arm just to receive payment because he was also afraid of being polluted (Freeman, 1979: 3). This group of people face day-to-day social discrimination because of such strict rules placed against them for their assigned traditional roles. The reason for such discrimination, as was mentioned, is because of the socially constructed ideologies of purity and pollution. The rules that govern over the castes depend on the Hindu religious ideas of purity and pollution. Those are considered pure, are said to have been closer to the divine and so they are given a higher social status. From the four Varnas, the Brahmans are considered to be the purest while the untouchables, the segregated castes, are the most polluted. In Kakar & Kakar’s reading, Inner Experience of Caste, the diet of the untouchables, aside from occupational reasons, also plays a role in their impurity. Where the Brahmins are vegetarians,

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