The caste system in India is a hierarchical social structure prevalent in certain societies, particularly in South Asia, notably India. It categorizes individuals into distinct social groups, or castes, often determined by birth and traditionally linked to occupations. The system typically includes four main castes—Brahmins (priests and scholars), Kshatriyas (warriors and rulers), Vaishyas (merchants and traders), and Shudras (laborers and artisans)—with Dalits (formerly known as “untouchables”) considered outside of the caste hierarchy. The caste system has had profound implications for social, economic, and political life, influencing aspects such as marriage, education, and employment opportunities. Despite legal reforms and social movements aimed at its abolition, caste-based discrimination and inequality persist in many parts of the world.

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