28K - views


Castes were the central feature of people's identities in . ancient India. . But the caste system is not completely dead in India today.. There are different theories about the establishment of the caste system. .

Embed :
Presentation Download Link

Download Presentation - The PPT/PDF document "INDIA’S CASTES" is the property of its rightful owner. Permission is granted to download and print the materials on this web site for personal, non-commercial use only, and to display it on your personal computer provided you do not modify the materials and that you retain all copyright notices contained in the materials. By downloading content from our website, you accept the terms of this agreement.


Presentation on theme: "INDIA’S CASTES"— Presentation transcript:



Castes were the central feature of people's identities in

ancient India.

But the caste system is not completely dead in India today.Slide3

There are different theories about the establishment of the caste system.

There are religious theories and there are historical theories.Slide4

According to a story in the Rig Veda,

a Hindu religious text, the original human, Purush, destroyed himself to create all of the rest of human society. The different Varnas (castes) were created from different parts

of his body.Slide5

The Brahmans were created from his head; the Kshatrias from his hands;

the Vaishias from his thighs and the Sudras from his feet.

The caste system’s hierarchy is determined by the descending order

of the different organs

from which humans were created. Slide6

The social historical theory explains the caste system beginning with the arrival of the Aryans in India. The fair skinned Aryans arrived in India from south Europe

and north Asia.Slide7

Before the Aryans arrived, other ethnic communities

lived in India. Among them were Negro, Mongoloid, Austroloid, and Dravidian (Mediterrean.)Slide9



The Aryans who conquered and took control over parts of north India subdued the locals and made them their servants.Slide10

The Aryans disregarded the local cultures,

and at the same time pushed the local people southwards or towards the jungles and mountains

in north India.


In order to secure their status the Aryans established sets of social and religious rules

which allowed only them to be the priests, warriors and the businessmen of the society.Slide12

The dominant Aryans gave themselves and their allies special rights and privileges

that other ethnic groups

were denied.Slide13

People assigned to different castes could not eat together, be educated together, marry, or even travel together on public transportation.Slide14

The most powerful caste was the Brahmans- the priests

and political leaders. Slide15

The Aryan conquerors belonged

to this caste.Slide16

Beneath these were the Kshatriya, or warriors, also Aryans who made their careers in the military.Slide17

Beneath them were the Vaishyas,

or traders and landowners, who were als members of Aryan society.Slide18

The lowest of the castes was the shudras - the servants

and farmhands from the native tribes and

conquered societies.

They did not own their own their own land, but were forced to work

for others.Slide19

Beneath all castes was the group known as the “Untouchables” -

delegated the worst jobs,

like cleaning up the gutters, collecting garbage,

cleaning up human waste, and burying the dead.Slide22

The untouchables call themselves Dalit, meaning “depressed.”Slide23

Until the late 1980s they were called Harijan, meaning “children of God.” This title was given to them by Mahatma Gandhi who fought for Indian society

to accept untouchables as equals.Slide24

Legally the government has banned the caste system, but in reality it allows discrimination of the lower classes.Slide25

The untouchablity feature of Indian society is seen

by many as one of the strongest racist phenomenon

in the world. Slide26

The untouchables have few rights

in society.

In various parts of India they are treated in different ways, but in most regions the attitude towards the untouchables is still harsh and strict.Slide27

Some Indians have become more flexible in their caste system customs. In general the urban people in India are less strict about the caste system than the rural.


In cities one can see different caste people mingling with each other, while in some rural areas there is still discrimination based on castes. Slide29

In modern India new tensions are created because of

“positive discrimination” policies.

The high caste communities feel discriminated by government policies which reserve positions and jobs for the lower classes.Slide30

According to government policy,

15% of the government jobs and

15% of the students admitted to universities must be from lower castes.Slide31

Sometimes in order to fill the quota, candidates from the lower classes are accepted even though they are not qualified.Slide32

Still, the lower classes are about 50% of India's population, but only 27% of government jobs are reserved for them.Slide33

Most of the communities who were low in the caste hierarchy remain low in the social order even today. Slide34

The degrading jobs are still done by the Dalits,Slide35

And communities who were high in the social hierarchy remain so…Slide36