The Caste System:

A Comparison  of Traditionalism and the Modernism

Jeet Shah

Dhanush Gummala






       The Caste System implemented in India has caused a contrast/ conflict in which the people of India today question.  The major idea that is questioned is Modernism vs. Traditionalism.  The old ideas that were more strict have loosened up as time has progressed into the modernized socitey today.  Some say that its ideas are still portrayed in India's society, but the opposing side says that its rules have been dispersed from society.  Arranged marriages to people only of the same caste have denied "love marriages" for years and years.  Now in days, people may wed whom ever they please to.  Has the system lightened up, or disappeared?  Also, the caste system in traditional times told its followers what their Dharma, or duty, in life was, but now people have broken out of this trance and have made the decision based on who they are.  The last conflict caused by traditionalism and modernism are the status of a person.  A status being a person's wealth and level (ex. Brahmin), has dominated society by divinding people, and today, people may live as one, despite background.  This topic was chosen because the caste system is an interesting topic that help explains the rest of India's history.  The restrictions and limitations that shaped the history help explain the actions of its people.  Lastly, we picked this because, as fellow Indian members, we would like to explore how are our people have been seperated, and then brought back together as one. 





People who are revolting against the Caste system in India


          Mock Dialogue     

Amit is a foreign exchange student from New, Delhi India. He came to Franklin High school because his dad got offered a job in America. Amit was raised in India. At school in his third hour which was world studies his teacher was talking about Indian caste system and asked Amitwhat he thought about it. But Jay and Indian American who was raised in America had different things to say about this system.


Amit: The Indian caste system has been the same for centuries now. There are castes are at the top Brahmins who are priests second highest were Kshatriyas who are the warriors, the Vaishyas who were the merchants, Sudras who were the peasants, and the untouchables who were the slaves/ poor people.


Jay: Amit, I do not agree with this.  In modern times with the modern people of India today people do not follow the rules of the Caste system anymore.


Amit: How?


Jay: Well back in traditional times in India a person’s wealth and status(where he was in the caste system) defined him as a person, but now in modern India whom a person is inside defines him.


Amit: No jay, how much wealth a person has defines him


Jay: Also in modern India if you are in one caste system you could only marry someone from the caste system but now in modern India you can marry anyone they desire, as long both people want to.


Amit: My parents have had an arranged marriage and they seem happy :), at least I think so....?


Jay: I am marry the girl of my dreams, despite what anyone or anything says or does


Amit: HAHAHAHA! You sure do talk big Jay


Jay: That's cause I have determined my own duty in life, to live it to its fullest extent, another limitations that occured in traditonal times.  People in India today do whatever they want in order to succeed at their full potential, and they don't follow what a system tell them


Amit: I don't know man, my brain hurts, lets just say we agree to disagree


Jay: Sounds good man


Amit: Cyaa!


Jay: Peace!

Different people from different castes shown 

Works Cited 

"The caste system." New Internationalist July 2005: 13. General OneFile. Web. 12 May 2011.

     Document URL     Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T003&prodId=IPS&docId=A134143148&source=gale&srcprod=ITOF&userGroupName=lom_inac&version=1.0



"The Indian Caste System | Hare Krishna Community." Hare Krishna Community. Web. 12 May 2011. <>.

"History of the Caste System in India." Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. Web. 12 May 2011. <>.