It is not easy to define and even harder to understand what Caste System really means. While it is a very complex social code it also is unwritten law of the Hindu Religion based entirely upon tradition and supported by various orthodox books held by Brahmin priests.
Entire Hindu Society, or the Brahminic Society has divided human-kind into four categories; namely the Brahmins, the Kshattriyas, the Vaisyas and the Sudras. These four classes of people are born in their already pre-determined families and cannot be changed under any circumstances and this explains why a non-Hindu may not be converted to Hinduism.
- The Brahmins are the priestly class and they alone are the keepers of the religious books where these rules are written defining their place in society. They consider themselves pure and holy and must be born of Brahmin parents. Only 5% or less population of India belongs to this class yet this small percentage somehow manages total control over the psyche of Hindu population.
- The Kshattriyas are the second in the order of preference; they are generally believed to belong to the ruling, princely class of society, and are classified as martial class, but most of them today are land owners and farmers and they too need to be born in the family of kshattriyas. Roughly, 25% of Indian population falls in this category.
- The Vaisyas are the third category of the Hindu Society and include the farmers and the traders of the society and therefore, are the most numerous with about 40% of Indian population. Although, the traders are the business owners and are normally financially well off, they have almost nothing to do with the farmers even though they are categorized as Vaisyas. It is therefore, important to note that in strict sense no inter-marriage takes place between the two; farmers and traders.
- The Sudras are the lowest class of people and are generally considered as menial or servant class of people. They are the poorest of the poor and consist of 30% of mostly uneducated Indian population. There is a misconception, a disinformation perhaps, perhaps spread at the behest of the upper class that the Sudras are the descendants of the population whose forebears were defeated and enslaved by the brahmins. It could have been so, except that ethnically the Brahmins and the Sudras very much look alike and bear same skin colour.
During the Raj Era, the British took advantage of this belief system and divided Indian Empire conveniently into martial and non-martial race. The Gurkhas were not only declared a martial race, they were made the elite of the elite, so much so, whenever the British Indian Army was on ceremonial parade, the Gurkhas were always in the lead; they carried the Queens Truncheon.
Since gaining Independence, the Ruling Class of India have created one more caste of people in India and they are called Scheduled Tribe; they are held to be outside the Hindu Culture; the tribes of Garo, Khasi, Mizo, Naga of Eastern India and all the aboriginal tribes fall in this category. The Gurkhas in India have now been granted the status of Scheduled Tribe.
Additionally, one must trust the brahmins to have devised a very inventive way of distinguishing between the castes; the personal names of the four castes are devised to be so entirely different. It can not be over-emphasized that the distinct name of a Brahmin can never be given to a non-brahmin. In short, brahminism is the most subtle form of racial prejudice which is sanctioned by religion entirely in their favour.