After the Aryan invasion in 1500BC, people in India were divided into very rigid social groups. These communities are known in English as “castes.” The caste system originates from Hinduism, but affects the entire Indian culture.
The caste system of India is without parallel anywhere else in the world. It is a division of society in which there are four castes arranged in a hierarchy.
At the top of the caste are the Brahmans, who are priests and educated people. After them are the Kshatria, who are the rulers and aristocrats of society. The next level are the Vaisia who are landlords and businessmen. And at the bottom of the caste are the Sudras, who are the peasants and laborers.
Below these castes are the outcasts who are untouchable to the four castes. They work in degrading jobs such as cleaning, sewage, etc. Anyone who does not belong to one of these castes is an outcast, commonly referred to as “dalits.”
The caste system is believed to be of divine origin. To break this system is considered to be a violation against God and His divine law. The great distinctions of caste are to be maintained not only in this earthly life, but also after death.
In India, the dalits, or “untouchables,” do not deserve a place in heaven. The division of the people into various castes is said to be eternal so that no act in this earthly life is enough to make any change in the caste or social order of a man, woman or child.Dalits are considered by upper class to be repulsive and subhuman.
The untouchability feature of the caste system is one of India’s cruelest features. It is seen by many as one of the strongest racial phenomenon in the world.