The Hindu Caste System

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Priscila Coutinho WOH2012 Prof. Lamarre October 20, 2012 The Hindu Caste System India is an ancient society with deep roots caring believes that was created millions of years ago, however still influence contemporaneous generations to today’s date. To understand where those believes came from, is needed to understand how society was divided and why. When the Aryans invade in India around 1500 B.C.E. some modification took place in the social structure. The Castle System was a rigid social structure, where Aryans organized them selves, and the India population, into classes known as Varnas. Before the Aryans arrived in India most of the society was falling either into Sudra Varna (not degrading jobs) or consider outcast (degrading jobs). The Caste System arises when the Aryans divided themselves into the top three classes of the pyramid; the Brahmins (priests), the Kshatriyas (warriors) and the Vaisyas (merchants). The India population were a mix of different communities such as; Negrito communities who; physically characteristics were alike people from Africa. Mongoloids communities who; physically characteristics were alike people from China. Austroloids communities who; physically characteristics were alike the Aboriginals of Australia and the Dravidian; people who were original from Mediterranean, perhaps the Dravidian were the majority of all of the other communities. In conclusion anyone that weren’t Aryans, were pushed into a servant Varna call; Sudra. The Sudra varna was subdivide into two; the decedents of Aryans and Non –Aryans, and non-Aryans. The rest of the non-Aryans population was; Slaves, indigenous (Austroloids) and criminals considered the outcast of society named Pariah, or also known as untouchables. Later on, extra varnas were created to accommodate different populations who had the same occupation and were teaching their line of business to their heirs. Those communities shared similar interests and interacting socially among each other consequently started to be seen as a separated Varna. To assure stagnation of the social classes, endogamy policy was enforced by the Aryans along with the creation of myths. The creation of religious myths gave a solid structure to the Caste System. The myths grew inside the Indian mind assuring the Aryans their predominance and power. The most Purush was mention on the sacred religious book called Vedas. It tells the story of the first man to be created and how he sacrificed himself to give life to human. Each body part of the Purush was considered a social class. The mouth or brain was assigned to the Brahmins (priests) as the highest class; representing knowledge and wisdom. The hands, to Kshatriyas (warriors); were representing strength to defend society. The thighs were given the merchants and the Sudra (lowest class) was represented by the feet, meaning no prestige what so ever. To summarize, the Castle system; in which Society was divide base on ancestry, fortune, occupation, profession and race was an unfair social structure that in my opinion made more damage than benefits. Impose that some races are better than others, and