Caste or Social class is the most controversial topic in Human History till today. Today, theIndian caste system is becoming more stable and far better than before. The concept of Inter Caste marriage or relationships is not accepted by indian society completely, but the scenario is changing slowly.
DEFINITION & ORIGIN of Caste System in India
There is no universally accepted theory about the origins of the Indian caste system. The Oxford English Dictionary defines Caste as “a Hindu hereditary class of socially equal persons, united in religion and usually following similar occupations, distinguished from other castes in the hierarchy by its relative degree of purity or pollution.”
The term Caste can be used to refer to two distinct concepts:
1. the ‘Jāti’ (birth group)
The term Jāti is used for the units of thousands or sometimes millions of people with whom one may identify oneself for such purposes as marriage.
2. the Varna'S (order, class or kind).
The concept varna includes four specific divisions. The Indian Social Class System (based on varnas) can be divided into 5 different groups-
1. Brahmin – priests and spiritual preceptors
2. Kshatriya – Warriors, protectors – usually rulers and warriors
3. Vaishya – Merchants, commercial livelihood, & associated with other producers and wealth-creators.
4. Shudra – Artisans, toilers
5. Harijans –
Then there is another caste called the ‘fifth’ one (called Pañcama), the so-called ‘untouchable’ (including the hill and forest population)