Caste: Stratifying Societies

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Caste: Stratifying Societies Since the Beginning of Time

"I cannot believe there is a caste system in society; I cannot believe people are judged on the bases of their prosperity" (Nehwal). India 's social structure has followed the same patterns for over 3,000 years. In 1,000 BCE, India was the most stratified society of the other ancient civilizations, including China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Americas. The caste system was a form of hierarchy that kept power within the hands of only certain individuals. How these individuals gained power in India has much to do with their correlation with the religion that dominated the area during this time: Hinduism. The aspects of Hinduism, like reincarnation and the rules of karma, were vital to
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"Aryans... invaded South Asia and introduced the caste system as a means of controlling the local population" (Ancient Civilizations). However, there is some speculation about who the Aryans were or where they came from. Most historians can agree that the caste system in India was created by groups from outside societies. It has also been observed that more than one nomadic tribe may be held responsible for the creation of the caste system (Ancient Civilizations). Whether these societies debated over how the caste system should be structured is still unknown. None the less, the Aryans emerged as powerful figures at the top of the caste system, ruling over their subjected and conquered …show more content…
"Priest and teachers were cast from his mouth, rulers and warriors from his arms, merchants and traders from his thighs, and workers and peasants from his feet" (Ancient Civilizations). The Brahmins held the most power, and were given the honor of interpreting the caste rulers. The Rigveda, a book of ancient India texts and hymns, gave the Brahmins the divine manifestation to divide society into four groups. Below the Brahmins were the Kshatriyas, also known as the class of nobles. These men and women were born into administration and served the government, comparable to the politicians and police of today. Despite their high position in society, there was very little need for their work because the caste system did not require extensive administration. The Kshatriyass were more valued for their military skill and protection. Beneath the Kshatriyas were the Vaisyas. The Vasiyas class was composed of mainly artisans and skilled traders, supplying the economy with the goods and services it needed to thrive. The Shudras made up the largest part of ancient India 's society; they were the peasantry that provided the labor for large work projects, such as irritation systems and temples. Unlike their labor counterparts, the Vasiyas, the Shudras were considered unskilled laborers, which is why they did not do much more than construct and transport materials from

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