The caste system is the name given to a system of discrimination (known as casteism) that has been practised in India for 1000s of years. It is similar to any other system of discrimination in that it involves giving different rights to people of different background.
In this case, it involves the social stratification and social restrictions of different tribes and sects within the Indian subcontinent, in which social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed as "jĝtis" or "castes".
It is a form of systematic discrimination just like racism: which is discrimination based on the persons race or ethnicity. In the West, before the 19th century, the evil of racism led to the organised trade in slaves and resulted in the huge amount of misery to the peoples of Africa.
Although the caste system is generally identified with Hinduism, it was also observed among followers of other religions in the Indian subcontinent, including some groups of Muslims and Christians. The Indian Constitution has outlawed caste-based discrimination, in keeping with the socialist, secular, democratic principles that founded the nation. Caste barriers have mostly broken down in large cities, though they persist in rural areas of the country. Nevertheless, the caste system, in various forms, continues to survive in modern India and elsewhere strengthened by a combination of unchanging social perceptions and warped cultural practises. .....More