The Caste System in India

by Brandi Moore on October 13, 2006

Everyone will tell you, quite honestly and hope, that the caste system is dead. India knows better. Its hard to break a culture of a three thousand year old habit.

You see castes everywhere in India. From the Dalits who are missing their shoes to the Brahmin young men with thin twine slung diagonally across their chest. Brahmins are the highest caste while the Dalits are in a sense outside of the caste system all together and are quite often shunned into dirty occupations or are begging everywhere for rupees. Some call them untouchables or harijans or musahar. Children of God is the poetic phrase Gandhi used to describe them. Some are very sick, others have children, others have missing arms and legs and others make it out–to success and freedom. But they usually find that their freedom is continually swatted back by higher caste members when origins surface.

A great book to read about this aspect of Indian society is “Untouchables: My families Journey out of the Caste System” by Narendra Jadhav It talks about the fight out of the caste system that continues throughout a lifetime even beyond achieving an education abroad and esteem in the workplace.

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