The caste system is one of the forms of social and economic governance based on customary rules . The caste system involves dividing people into social groups known as castes mostly determined by birth. This system is maintained using rigid economic penalties in case of any deviations . There are four main classes referred to as the Varna and people are classified according to their personality, profession, and birth .
The Brahmana is the superior group that includes educators, and spiritual leaders including the high priests. While kshatriya are individuals working in public service like lawyers , police officers, public administrators and those working in military and law enforcers. The Vaishya are engaged in commercial activities and include business people. The shudra are semi skilled and unskilled laborers. Anyone who falls outside the caste system are lesser human being and are called the untouchables. These groups of individuals are assigned the most dirty and hazardous jobs and face a lot of stigmatization for the society. The caste system is not only practiced in India but in other parts of Africa, the Middle East and Pacific regions. The age-old tradition has been the main cause of social discrimination resulting in inequality in many countries .
The caste system has resulted a lot of discrimination since the society is divided into different compartments. Those from the higher castes exploit the lower caste more so the shudras and the untouchables who are forced to perform menial task with little pay. The children from lower caste remain slaves forever had are not granted any opportunity to excel in life. With more than 165 million people living in discrimination on, exploitation and violence, there has been a growing concern on how to handle the hidden apartheid in Indian and other countries practicing segregation . Caste discrimination continues to dominate in marriage ,employment and social interaction . For instance , the Dalits who are of the lowest caste are not permitted to drink from the same well to go to the same temple. They cannot wear shoes in the presence of the upper caste . The Untouchables live in constant fear of being humiliated in public . When they violate some of these rules, they are paraded naked and beaten by the upper caste . By walking through the upper caste neighborhoods can be life threatening and it is an offense.
The caste system is still a plague in many societies and has become an influential factor in politics . Politicians encourage such exploitation for their own gain . Discrimination against the lower class is prevalent and is the main cause of backwardness witnessed in most Asian countries. Even though many social reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy and Dayanand Saraswati have made efforts to end caste discrimination, many Indians are yet to abandon this old tradition . The Indian Constitution makes caste discrimination to be illegal . The prevention of Atrocities Act is among the many efforts that made it illegal to parade people naked in the streets like before or force people to eat feces or take away their land.
There are several laws meant to protect the lower class in India more so the Dalits, many of these laws are not enforced in many regions. Discrimination is still rampant in rural areas where most people reside. There are the underlying religious principles of Hinduism that are still dominant in many areas, hence it is not easy to eliminate caste discrimination. Even though the caste system has been weakened, the practice still exists in rural population, making it difficult to root out caste discrimination.
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