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J. Alfie, Content Writer, Masters in Literature, Dallas,Texas
Answered Dec 15, 2020
The Indian caste system is among the world's oldest forms of surviving social stratifications. The caste system divides Hindus into a rigid hierarchical group based on their karma and dharma.
The system is divided into four classes based on the principle of Varna (color), Brahmins (the priestly class), the Kshatriyas (the ruling administrative and warrior class), the Vaishyas (the class of artisans, tradesmen, farmers, and merchants) and Shudras (manual workers).
Those that do not fall within the caste system are known as the untouchable. For many centuries, caste has dictated almost every aspect of Hindu religious and social life, with each group occupying a specific place in this complex hierarchy. The independent India constitution banned discrimination on the basics of caste and also in the attempt to correct historical injustices.
The caste system has influenced the traditional rural Indian society by affecting the economic system, which seems to be related to the social economics stratification. In 2001, a report was published that in India 36.3% of people own no land, 60.6% own about 15% of the land, with a very wealthy 3.1 % owning 15% of the land.