At present caste system is discouraged in India, its root was very strong in ancient India. The ancient Aryans started the system. They divided the society into four castes such as Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Shudra. This division was made on the basis of the work which the Aryans did.
Economists term it as division of labour. At that time society needed the work of all these castes. There was interference of one caste in another. The Brahma worshipped Gods and Goddesses. The Kshatriyas were guard the entire community against enemies. They acted as soldiers. The Vaisyas did the trade and commerce. The Shudras were allotted the duty of serving the above three castes.
The purpose of dividing the society into four castes was to remove chaos and indiscipline from it. When all the castes did their respective works, harmony was established in society. But this harmony did not last long. The caste system became very rigid in later period. The feeling of inferiority and superiority arose. The people belonging to high caste hated the people of low caste.
Gradually, one caste was again divided into sub-castes. Today, much social tension is created due to the ugly feeling of caste system.
The caste system established social order. All castes were found in a village. So the people of one village did not need to go to another village to fulfill their wants. The Brahmins or Kshatriyas did not do the trade and commerce. Thus there was no dispute regarding trade. But gradually, the Brahmins imposed their superiority on other castes. The Kshatriyas also did the works of trade and commerce. The Shudras were neglected and treated as untouchables. They were also exploited by other castes. Thus the social order was affected.
M.K.Gandhi fought against the caste system in India. He called the low caste people as Harijans or the Children of God. The democratic Government in India has taken many steps to improve the condition of the low caste people. There is provision of reservation of jobs for them. Inter caste marriages are also encouraged today. Thus, the caste system is gradually losing its strength in our country.