The caste system in India
Today I am going to talk about The caste system in India. I 've divided my talk into two parts. In the first part we will see that it's a socialorganisation initially set up for religious reasons, and then in the second part we will look at its consequences.
My talk will last about 10 min and at the end I will be happy to answer yourquestions.
Now let's move to the first part of my talk which is about the description of this social organisation.
A. First what is a caste?
• The Indian civilisation has developed a rigid socialorganisation which is established on the caste system.
• A caste is a hereditary group in a traditionally and rigidly stratified society. People belong to a caste because they were born in it: theyhave the same caste as their parents. Mobility is minimal. There is a hierarchy of four castes:
• At the top the Brahmanes, they are religious leaders such as priests, then the Kshatriya: theyare warriors, rulers... The Vaishya are the third group which is made up of traders and finally the Shudra, this group must serve the other 3 groups.
Certain Indians do not belong to any class, theyare strangers, members of an another religion. They are called untouchables. They represent around one quarter of the population.
• The different castes each have a ranking in a social hierarchy,or a social status, and people from lower castes are generally perceived to be inferior and are often subject to discrimination
B. So now we come to the religious origins of these four castes,also called "varnas" (nom de ces différents groupes).
According to mythology, the human race was born from a giant god with a human appearance, named Purusha.
The four varnas were created from thedismemberment of Purusha.
• Brahimins were born from his mouth, their mission is to pass knowledge and to set up rites.
• Khastriya were born from his arms and shoulders, it is their duty to...