Caste is a social system that has existed since ancient times across various parts of the world. It refers to a hierarchical social division of people based on their birth, occupation, and ancestry.
The caste system divides society into different groups based on their roles and responsibilities in society. In this article, we will explore the history of caste across the world.
The caste system in India is a well-known example of a social hierarchy based on birth. The Indian caste system divides people into four main categories: Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (merchants), and Shudras (laborers). There is also a fifth category known as the Dalits or untouchables who are considered to be outside the caste system.
Caste discrimination has been prevalent in Indian society for centuries. People from lower castes faced discrimination in various areas such as education, employment, and access to public spaces. However, with the Indian Constitution’s introduction in 1950, several laws were enacted to eliminate caste-based discrimination.
Japan also had its own version of a caste system known as Burakumin. Burakumin were considered to be at the bottom of Japanese society and were discriminated against for centuries due to their association with jobs such as butchers, leatherworkers, and undertakers.
However, since the Meiji period in 1868-1912, Japan has made significant progress in eliminating discrimination against Burakumin through various reforms and policies.
Europe had its own version of a caste system during feudal times when society was divided into three main classes: nobles, clergy members, and commoners. These divisions were not necessarily based on birth but rather on social status and wealth.
In modern times, Europe has made significant progress towards eliminating class-based discrimination through various policies and laws.
In Africa, caste systems have existed in various forms across different countries. For example, in Nigeria, caste systems exist among the Igbo people, where certain groups are considered to be superior to others based on their ancestry and social status.
Similarly, in Mauritania, a caste system based on ethnicity has existed for centuries, with the Haratin people being considered to be at the bottom of society and facing discrimination in various areas.
Caste systems have existed across the world for centuries and have been a source of discrimination and inequality. However, with the introduction of modern laws and policies aimed at eliminating discrimination based on birth or social status, significant progress has been made towards creating a more equal society. It’s important to recognize that while progress has been made, there is still work to be done towards creating a society free from discrimination based on birth or social status.