Use of Caste System in Gupta India

Topics: Sociology, Confucianism, Hinduism Pages: 1 (267 words) Published: November 3, 2014
The Caste System was utilized by the government in Gupta India to provide social order and a social hierarchy. Almost everyone living in India practiced Hinduism and very few people challenged the Caste System. The Caste system gave Indian leaders a basis for why they had power and explained why some people were in poverty. The Caste System also provided guidelines for what occupations suited each social class. People who were not educated or wealthy enough to have a career as a Brahman, for example, would instead work in an occupation more suitable for a less educated person, such as a farmer or merchant. Hinduism gave religious leaders a lot of power because Hindus were taught to respect and obey Brahmans and priests. The Caste System indirectly affected how severely one was punished for a violation of the law code. People in lower castes were punished more harshly than people in higher castes. Even if the same felony was commuted, the person in the higher caste would usually be punished with less impunity. The Gupta use of the Caste System to define social relationships is very similar to the use of Confucian beliefs in Han China. Confucian beliefs such as filial piety and the five relationships molded Chinese society in the same way that the Caste System molded society in India. The status of a person in society according to Confucianism, however was much more likely to deviate throughout one's lifetime. The Caste System did not allow much social flexibility because once born in a caste, a person could not move up or down to other castes.
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