Thursday, October 21

What are Indian castes and how do they work?

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  • BBC World News

The caste system of India is among the oldest forms of social stratification that has survived throughout the years.

This system that divides Hindus into rigid hierarchical groups is said to based on their karma (work) and dharma (the Hindi word for religion, although here it means duty) is over 3000 years old and very complex.

How did the castes arise?

Manusmriti, considered the most important and authoritative book on Hindu law and dating back at least 1,000 years before the birth of Christ, “recognizes and justifies the caste system as the basis of order and trust in society “.

The caste system divides Hindus into four main categories: brahmanes, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras.

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