The lowest among these have been referred to by the term untouchables. Subsequent to gaining independence from the British in 1947, the Indian government adopted a new constitution that outlawed the caste system (Schaefer 190).
These four castes are those of the Brahman or scholar cum priest, the Kshatria or warrior, the Vysya or merchant, and the Shudra or persons engaged in menial tasks. Access to spiritual materials was determined to a certain extent by caste. The Brahmans had to maintain a high degree of purity, as they had to conduct elaborate and intricate religious rituals that brooked of no compromise. The task of defending the kingdom from external and internal threats was the province of the Kshatrias. Commercial enterprise, trade and exports and imports were taken care of by the Vysyas. All other tasks, such as construction, irrigation, and agriculture were performed by the Shudras (The Laws of Manu, c. 1500 B.C.E.)
The chief ideas involved in the caste system are discussed in the sequel. This system had a deep effect on the practices followed by people in public as well as in the privacy of their homes. The prescribed rules of conduct could not be violated and transgressions had to be expatiated by means of purification procedures (Thakur and Banerjee 67). If the violation was sufficiently serious, then a person could be expelled from his particular caste.
The example of caste system reveals the fact that human behavior can be controlled by certain social norms that affect public or private conduct. This has proved to be disadvantageous to humanity on the majority of