COM 435 Final paper - DAVID DALMEIDA COM 435 INDIAu2019S...

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DAVID DALMEIDA COM 435 11/30/18 INDIA’S CASTE SYSTEM India's caste system is among the world's oldest forms of surviving social stratification India’s caste system is a social framework that divides different groups into ranked categories based on their social class meaning the higher one’s caste is then the higher their social class. According to wwww.bbc.com, “There are 3,000 castes and 25,000 subcases in India, each related to a specific occupation.” India’s government banned the practice of castes in 1950 based on social injustices. The following paper is going to elaborate more on the caste system of India, touching on the history and controversies happening in India in over the years. We will start by looking at the history of the castes. According to thoughtCo the indian caste system was not really defined between 1700 and 1100 BCE , it only started to appear between 1000 BCE and 200 CE with Bhaghavad Gita a poem which is a dialogue between Prince Arjuna, the brother of King Yudhisthira, and Vishnu , the Supreme God, incarnated as Krishna. The Baghavad Gita was taken from one of main ancient sources of information with regard to these Hindu beliefs, practices and emphasize the importance of caste. The castes was really respected by their believers because of the theory of reincarnation. It is said that if you respect and live rightfully you will be rewarded with rebirth and upgrade your social status. Hindus believe in reincarnation and that the Karma from one’s previous life leads to where that individual is placed into in society.According to Scholarblogs , Varna was created to give structure to the indian society and had four majors castes, the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas and the Shrudas. Brahmins which is the most powerful caste in Hindu society derives from the word “Brahmin’ which stands for “supreme self” or in other words “ first of the gods”. T he name Brahmin was also given to the first specially trained priest who superintended the sacrifice. By
the end of the Rig Vedic period dating 1500-1000 BC, the term was used for all members of the priestly class. This is the caste where Hindu priest are selected and carry the responsibility of maintaining and teaching sacred knowledge to others. According to , the Brahmins only show up in the historical record around the time of the Gupta Empire , which ruled from the 4th to the 6th century CE.” this is not to say that there weren’t any priest before this era, but for the Hindu community is was important to define who the leaders of these traditions were. In fact, some Brahmins architects, warriors, merchants, farmers and even carpet- markers. Research has also shown that Brahmin families in the 20th century had less than 10% of adult male Brahmins who actually worked as priests or Vedic teachers. The caste gradually grew over time as some members became military leaders and government administrators even though these occupations are usually associated with members of the Kshatriya caste.

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