Describe the Varna system. How did it start? What is its present position in India today?


The society was divided into four Varnas (caste) namely Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. The Brahmins looked after the religious matters. The Kshatriyas protected the people from internal and external harm. The Vaishyas were the cultivators and craftsmen. The Shudras were the laborers, who served the above three classes.

In the early Vedic period, the Varnas were based on work not on birth, but in the later Vedic period the Varnas were based on birth not work. It became hereditary and very rigid.

But, now a days the people of different Varnas have the freedom to intermingle, marry or change their occupations. Now every Indian has the Right to Freedom of Religion. India is a Socialist and Secular State.