The word caste is not of an Indian Origin. It is derived from the word ‘casta’ which has Spanish and Portuguese origins.
This word has a meaning related to the “race, lineage, etc.” that revolves around the birth. It is basically related to where tor in which family, was the person born.
The word ‘caste’ is an English word originated from the word “casta”.
Even though the word caste is different, it has origins in India since the ancient period due to its meaning. This is one of the main and unique features of India among other countries.
As we know, the word caste is related to the legacy or the family in which the child is born. In the ancient period it was known as ‘Jati’ of the person.
For example, if a child is born in a farmer’s family then he will have to do the job of a farmer only. He cannot do any other job or occupation.
The caste system was originally formed by the people to differentiate the people based on their occupation.
This thought of the society in that time period was followed by everyone and over a period of time it became the identification mark for a person.
Gradually, the people were recognized on the basis of their caste, praised on the basis of their caste and exploited also on the basis of their caste.
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The Indian Caste System
The Indian Caste System primarily involves 4 parts. These form the basis of the Indian Caste System. The 4 divisions are: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra.
This caste system was developed or put forth in the Vedic period, especially in the Rig Vedic Period. This caste system is followed in today’s date as well.
The Brahmin class is the uppermost division in caste system. It involved teaching, preaching and learning about the Hinduism and the Gods and all the religious aspects of the Society.
This was the kind of work the Brahmin’s did in the ancient period. Not all the Brahmin’s stick to such kind of a lifestyle in this Era.
The Kshatriya class comes after the Brahmins and these are primarily warrior people. They did the work of being a soldier or a bodyguard in that era.
Then comes the Vaishya class. These are the businessmen or also called as traders or merchants. They were also sometimes known to be very cunning and unfaithful in that period of time.
The Shudras class was the lowest caste according to the division and were not allowed to socialize with the other class or caste of people. Their primary occupation was farming, slavery, etc.
There was a class separate from the above mentioned 4 classes. They were called the Untouchables (or the Dalits).
This class of people were untouchable that is they were treated as dirty people and it was believed that looking or touching these people brings ill omen.
This discrimination had no bounds or limits. This class of people were treated very inhumanly by the upper caste people.
Like the Brahmins, neither of the other three castes in today’s date compulsorily follow their allotted caste agenda. For example, it is not necessary for a person belonging to Kshatriya family to be a soldier.
He can be a farmer, cobbler, businessman, etc. It is totally his choice as to what and how he wants to live his life.
This is the Legal scenario of the Caste System in India. This is how it is expected to be, but the reality shows us an altogether different picture.
In India, today also, there are some places where the caste system is taken seriously and followed rigidly.
Today’s Caste System Scenario
We all say that we have adapted the modernized lifestyle and every human is equally important.
Though we speak about such high values, there are some parts or people of our society which still follow this caste system where the Shudras are still exploited under the name of following the age-old caste system.
In today’s date, the caste system was changed from the 4 pillar Caste System to a different one.
This was basically done after the Independence to promote or open opportunities in all the job sectors for the backward caste people (mostly the Shudras and the Untouchables).
This type of the caste system consists of the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC), etc.
The Untouchable class was mostly divided into the above-mentioned categories to bring equality among all the caste classes of the society.
During the pre-Independence period, the lower caste people were treated very poorly and to eradicate this type of social situation, the different categories with some special rights were created.
Due to these special categories, the backward caste people were given an opportunity to gain proper education and also to explore the various aspects of the society.
This government encouraged facility gave them an opportunity to freely move in the society and not to be afraid of the upper caste people.
These people were very poor therefore, they were given financial help from the government.
Also, at that time, the education system was very new to these people therefore, they were given complete opportunity to study at their own pace.
All these things were written down in the Constitution as laws and were formulated by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. He helped a lot of Dalit or backward class people to develop and grow in the society.
Some other aspects of the Caste System
Even though the backward class people were discouraged due to their social isolation, they tried to come out of that situation and build a new world of opportunities for themselves.
In today’s society, every third person belongs to a caste (may it be SC or ST) which shows the rate at which the growth and development of these backward classes has evolved.
In today’s society, no person is isolated just because he belongs to backward category.
Everyone accepts the caste system which was set up thousands of years ago without any kind of grudges in their mind.
There is almost 35 – 40% reservation for these backward class people. This much reservation lets the undeserving people misuse their rights.
For example, as we know that the reservation is for truly talented but poor candidate. And we also know that, no person in today’s date is solely dependent on his caste allotted occupation.
Everyone has a side business or have availed the benefits of reservation and got good jobs.
So what is the problem with the Caste System?
When a candidate is truly intelligent and poor, then he has full rights to avail the benefits of reservation for their category.
But when the undeserving people (for example, people having money but no talent) avail the benefits of this reservation by bribing the respective officers, then it is unfair to all the other deserving and poor candidates.
It is also unfair to the general category people who might not be able to afford the fees but are equally intelligent.
This is the scenario in India at the present date which is somewhere responsible for a stagnant growth.
The problem here, is not the caste system but the associative statements which have a loop hole that are always misused by the rich reserved category (backward class) people.
It is always said that every coin has a head and a tail. Similarly, every concept has some advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of the caste system are very transparent and the change is also very positive. But this positive change is now moving towards a disaster in waiting.
When all the intelligent candidates are ignored because the non-intelligent candidates can pay more fees than them, then they are also threatening the development of the human resources along with the corruption of our morals.
Therefore, it is high time we start understanding this grave situation and contribute our efforts to bring the biggest change that can ever happen in the Indian Society.
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