GateIndia 02 Chan Walker The Indian Caste System

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The untouchability of dalits hardly exsist at present in INDIA. The living standards of Dalits have been improved to a great extent and they occupy highest post in the governnance.The observations may be modified taking into consideration the present scena

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The Indian Caste System: 

The Indian Caste System India GATE Class 2: History and Religion Erwin Chan – Joyce Walker


Overview Overview Brahmins Kshatriya Vaishya Shudra Dalit Varna system divided the society Members did not socialize between castes Did not intermarry Did not eat with each other Birth determining factor, but skin color played a role Higher caste people believed to have lighter skin Varna means skin color, not class

The Castes: 

The Castes Hindu society divided into four castes Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business Brahmins – Priests and Teachers Kshatriya – Warriors and Rulers Vaishya – Farmers, Merchants, Artisans Shudra – Laborers, Servants Twice Born Dalit – Untouchables Source:


Jati Each varna is subdivided into many jatis or sub-classes Based on a particular occupational specialization and having the same of similar social ranking (based on its varna) Varna – Typical functional division of a society Jati – endogamous group Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business


Brahmins Highest order caste Usually vegetarian (but some ate meat) Generally involve themselves in education and learning-based activities Some involved in military pursuits Traditional surnames: Sharma, Deva Brahmins – Priests and Teachers Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business


Kshatriya Second order caste Member of the military, kings, warriors, soldiers Traditional surnames: Varma, Trata Kshatriya – Warriors and Rulers Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business


Vaishya Third order caste Comprises of merchants, farmers, landowners, and artisans Traditional surnames: Agrawal, Oswal, Porward, Patel Vaishya – Farmers, Merchants, Artisans Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business


Shudra Lowest order caste – still considered “clean” Role of laborers Traditional surnames: Datta, Dasa Shudra – Laborers, Servants Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business


Dalit – The “Untouchables” Outcast – falls outside of the four castes “Unclean” Live in poverty, little education, “forgotten” Dalit – Untouchables Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business


Purity vs. Pollution? High caste status is associated with purity (hence white for Brahmins) If a Dalit come into physical contact with a Brahmin, the latter perform ritual cleanliness-like bathing in flowing water and changing clothes Low castes perform unclean jobs like burying corpses, killing animals – must live outside villages to prevent “pollution” of the rest of the people Purity or pollution hereditary Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business


Dalit Reservations Outlawed in 1950 with the passage of India’s constitution Similar to the US’s Affirmative Action program Some political offices in parliament and state assemblies are designated for ex-Untouchables Educational scholarships and quotas help educate Dalits Perpetuated discrimination against Dalits Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business


Current Caste Issues All castes are equal in the legal system Discrimination exists still in social settings Bringing higher standards of living for Dalits difficult Youth killed by in laws over inter-caste marriage Jaunpur | January 15, 2006 4:37:09 PM IST   A youth has been allegedly killed by his in- laws over a marriage dispute in the Badlapur area here.Achhe Lal Yadav (27), who had married a girl from another caste was murdered in sleep late last night at the house of his in laws, police said here today. Police suspect the involvement of Achhe Lal's in laws in the killing, who were incensed over their daughter's marriage with a man from other caste. Meanwhile, wife of the deceased has registered a case against her uncle and another family member in connection with the killing. The police has arrested one of the two accused. Indian caste basking in glory of Aussie bride (AFP) January 10 2006 at 07:53PM Patna, India - The marriage of a low caste villager to an Australian woman in the Indian state of Bihar has brought prestige to his community, who have for decades been battling their "rat eater" status, relatives said on Tuesday. "It is a matter of great pride for us that one of our villagers wedded a foreigner even when society looks down upon us," said Reejhan Manjhi, a cousin of the groom, Sanjay Manjhi. The 24-year-old Australian, Erin Butlet, married Manjhi in a traditional Hindu ceremony in New Taradih village in the Gaya district of Bihar at the weekend. The couple met and fell in love in the north Indian hill station of Dharamsala, home to exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, where Manjhi runs a shop. 'It was love at first sight'They married in a civil ceremony at Dharmsala on December 27 but Manjhi, who hails from the Mushhar ("rat eaters") community, among the lowest of India's myriad castes, wanted the union solemnised by his village. Brother beheads sister over inter-caste marriage (PRESS TRUST OF INDIA) Posted online: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 at 0000 hours IST MUZAFFARNAGAR (UP), JANUARY 2: A 19-year-old girl who had married outside her caste against the wishes of her family members was yesterday beheaded by her elder brother at a hospital—she was under treatment after he stabbed her—in Meerut, police sources said here today. The girl, Nargis, had been under treatment at the Meerut Medical College Hospital after her brother Naushad stabbed her on December 16 for marrying outside the caste, they said. She and her lover had eloped on December 10 and returned to their houses here on December 16 after getting married, they said. A panchayat had tried to put pressure on the couple to part ways but they refused to do so. After Naushad attacked her, she was hospitalised. Last night, he reached the women’s ward and beheaded her while she was asleep, police said adding that Naushad was since been absconding. Police have launched a hunt for him. Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business


Varna and The Business World Very little effect Companies hire on merit rather than caste Corporations boast multiple religions, languages working together without caste considerations Overview Castes Purity Dalit Current Business

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