The first castes appeared in India at the stage of state formation. About one and a half thousand years BC, the first immigrants appeared on the territory of modern India. They were divided into four classes. Much later, called Varna, This word, literally translated from Sanskrit, means color. The word caste itself carries a semantic concept as a pure breed.
Belonging to a community of people exposed by power has always been greatly appreciated by all peoples. Just in antiquity, interwoven with the Indian religion, this concept has acquired the status of an unshakable law. At the very beginning, they were brahmanas, priests, in their hands was the right to interpret the word of God. Thanks to this, this caste occupied the highest position. Because above them there was only a divine essence with which only they could communicate. Any of their words was law and was not subject to discussion. Next came the kshatriya warriors. The very numerous and powerful caste of India . At all times, and among all nations, professional military men have participated in government. Only in India, they stood out in a separate group of people who inherited their skills and traditions.
How life is different in different parts of India, more details: States of India .
Caste was so closed that for many centuries ordinary people could not even imagine becoming a soldier. Such heresy was punishable by death. Vaishas, merchants, farmers, and cattle breeders came here. This caste was also numerous, but the people included in it had no political influence, since the representatives of the higher castes of India , at any time, could deprive them of all their property, at home, families simply saying that it pleases the gods. A sudra is a servant worker. The most numerous and disenfranchised caste, people belonging to it, in fact, were equated with the level of animals. Moreover, some animals in India lived much better, because they had the status of the sacred.
Further division into castes in India
Later, after a rather long time. The first castes began to be divided into smaller ones, with an even more rigid consolidation of certain privileges and rights for a certain group of people. Religion played a major role in this division. In Hinduism, it is believed that after death, the soul can transform into a person more high caste of India , if you strictly observe all the rules of this division during life. If not, it will degenerate into a lower caste. It was impossible to leave the caste, even if a person possessed some superior qualities, he could not rise during his lifetime.
After the passage of time, this system of building society, only strengthened. Not the subjugation of the people by the Mughals, who brought the Muslim religion with them, nor the later subjugation of the British, could not shake the very foundations of this system. The very nature of caste looks quite logical. If the family is engaged in agriculture, then the children will do the same. Only the Indians have abolished the very possibility of making a decision on this issue, everything is decided only by birth. Where you were born and you will be engaged. To the main four, added another, untouchable. This is the lowest caste. It is believed that communication with members of this caste can defile anyone, especially members of higher castes. Therefore, they never, in direct contact, spoke with representatives of the untouchables.
Modern caste division
In modern India, there are a huge number of castes. Priests, warriors, merchants and even the untouchables have their division. Understanding all these intricacies is quite difficult. Yes, with the advent of the possibility of leaving the country, young people are increasingly beginning to think about the appropriateness of this order of things. But in the provinces in the interior of the country, these laws are very jealous. And at the state level, the government supports this tradition. There is a constitutional caste table. So, this is not medieval savagery and a relic of the past, but an absolutely real, state system. Each state has its own division into castes. No matter how newcomers are, this whole bulky mechanism works. Perfectly coping with their mission.
It should be noted, since modern India is a democratic state, all the rights of freedom associated with obtaining caste certificates are very strictly respected; ways of government support. Up to quotas for them special seats in parliament. Currently, all the peoples living in India recognize the caste division and follow this tradition. Even the Spanish and British priests who remained in the state after the colonialists left created their own caste system of India and stick to it. This underlines the fact that with the right, competent approach, any system of government can work, however conservative and orthodox it may look in the eyes of visitors. In modern India, castes have become possible. It is enough for one or several families to change their occupation and that’s all, a new caste is ready. In modern reality, especially in large industrial cities, such changes are treated quite loyally.
Before you travel to India, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the cultural features of the country, in more detail: Culture of India .
This is a completely separate category of people. It is considered the lowest, people get there, whose soul sinned very much in the previous incarnation. But even this last step of the social ladder of India has its own division. At the very top, there are working people or those who have some kind of craft. For example, hairdressers or garbage collectors. The bottom of this staircase is occupied by petty thieves hunting for thefts of small livestock. The most mysterious in this hierarchy is the hijra group; it includes representatives of any sex minorities. It is amazing that representatives of these seemingly dregs of society are invited to weddings and births of children. They are often felt in numerous church ceremonies. But the worst in India is considered to be a man without a caste, even of the lowest rank. Such people are called pariah here. These are people born from other pariahs or as a result of inter-caste marriages and not recognized by any of the castes. More recently, one could become a pariah simply by touching one of them.
Indian castes, video: