Short Essay on Caste System in India

Caste System in India

Prevalent in India since ages: Caste System or the division of society into castes is a feature peculiar to our country. Since times immemorial our social structure has been based on castes which also decided the specific profession a person could opt for. The caste system have an negative impact on the society.

Rigidity of Caste System: Nowhere in the world was it so rigid and it has been a matter of research for knowledgeable persons who have tried to find out the pros and cons of its origin.

Sub-division of Castes and sub-castes: Our caste system has been further divided into sub-castes, adding to the complication of the already innumerable ones, existing all over the country. Due to these divisions of castes and sub-castes we find that there is a difference in custom and manners, even today, when they are living in the same neighborhood.

Origin of the caste system: To understand the origin of the caste system we will have to refer to the age of the Vedas. We find mention in our holy scriptures of the existence of a caste system, even in those remote periods, when the Persians and Aryans lived together in Central Asia.

Four classes of the Caste system: Division of castes into Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras is based on the belief that all humans originated from the limbs of Good .

The Aryans who came to India formed a social structure where professions were allotted to specific groups of men, all depending on their ability to execute the work entrusted.  The Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras were the four main castes which were decided by birth.

  • The Brahmans: They were the literate group, presumed to have originated from the mouth of God and they were alone empowered to study the Vedas and worships Gods.
  • The Kshatriyas:  They were supposed to be born from the arms of God. They were entrusted the job of protecting the society from marauders. They were born to be rulers and fighters.
  • The Vaishyas: They originated from the Almighty’s legs and they were assigned the jobs of doing business. Together with trading, they were also expected to do farming and agriculture. Basically it came down to feeding the society.
  • The Sudras: They were supposed to have emanated from the feet of God, so their duty was to serve the society, which really meant, serving the other three classes.

How was the caste system organized in Ancient India: This caste system was very well organized in the ancient period and it was so simple that there was no problem with orthodoxy. The social and political structure was such that the question of untouchability did not arise. Thus, an efficient system led to peace, goodwill and brotherhood, which held sway over other minor problems and there was no economic pressure.

Efforts of Gandhiji and Dr. Ambedkar: After Gandhiji’s movement and Dr. Ambedkar’s revolution, the depressed classes were given equal opportunity, to become literate through general education and enlightenment, by the society. But politicians have twisted it to suit their own ends. They are still being referred to as Harijans, when it should have become a classless society by now.

Mandal Commission: There was partial implementation of the recommendations of Mandal Commission. Job reservations for the OBCS were announced and implemented.

Conclusion: Caste System is not a fair system in the present scenerio. It is negatively effecting the Indian society. The system has become totally irrelevant today. Under present conditions the rigidity of castes caused much oppression and injustice to the weaker sections of society. The system has become loose and totally disorganized and should be relegated to the status of a relic from a by-gone age, which cannot be preserved anymore.

We can conclude that the caste system has a negative impact on Indian society.

-Pankaj Kapoor.