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Page history last edited by Vishnu Kumar 9 years, 3 months ago

The Taxonomy of India

Vishnu K. and Ben R. (B3)


     Around 1500 B.C. the sovereign state of India was invaded by the Aryans, and its history would be drastically altered. The Aryans brought many unexpected changes onto the Indian people, and one of the most well-known of these changes is the introduction of the Caste System. The Caste System, as shown in the diagram below, is a way to divide people by their karma. The Brahmins are the highest class in the caste system and are generally the priests or spiritual people in India. The Kshatriyas are the warriors of India and are the 2nd most respected class in India. The Vaishyas are business oriented and usually deal with trade and sales. Sudras are farmers, peasants, or lowly workers in Indian society. The lowest class, Untouchables, are usually slaves or criminals so they are not respected. It became prominent in India in the 19th century, however, in the 20th and 21st century many conflicts arose. The Sudras and Untouchables are not treated well and have little rights while the Kshatriyas and Brahmins are highly respected. People argue that it is wrong to treat people this way just based on a previous life or by family history. Others think that it is justified as the karma is their fault. Another main conflict arises between the people who claim that traditions should be kept sacred, and the people who argue for non-discrimination, equal rights, and more modern values.

               The Caste System Tree


Brahmins vs. Sudras Mock Dialogue


(On the issue of the Caste System in India)

S: I believe that the Caste System should altogether be abolished.

B: Why should it be abolished? I strongly disagree with that idea because it is beneficial to everyone.

S: Oh?! Not to someone like me, who’s at the lower end of society. I’m sure to someone like you, everything is perfectly in order.

B: Don’t get snippy with me, thou fobbing onion-eyed malt-worm! It is based on how hard you work as well as your karma, so it is truly accurate.

S: It’s the 21st century! India should embrace the modern ideals of freedom and anti-discrimination.

B: But India should also maintain its tradition and not give in to Western culture.

S: Not at the cost of not advancing our country.

B: I think that the Caste System itself has advanced our country because it provides a reliable way to organize labor and other aspects of India.

S: Sure, maybe in the 16th century, but we have since then evolved, and we are ready to move on.


      Protestors against the Caste System (Sudras)                                                                                                                                                       Brahmins praying in a bhajan     


As you can see, there is a distinct difference in their type of clothing and actions. This shows the difference in the classes and their standard of living. The chain is representing the difference between the castes as the "tug of war." The mock dialogue is also associated with these pictures as both of the characters are from different castes and have different opinions. The Sudras want India to be modernized while the Brahmins want to retain traditional values.


Works Cited







Comments (1)

Rajmund Michal Niwinski said

at 1:01 pm on Jan 29, 2014

Nice job!

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