February 7, 2019
Although the Indian Government stipulated several years ago that the word “caste” ought to be abolished, Government offices and the Indian media frequently use the word when speaking of a particular group of inhabitants.
Nevertheless the word “caste” has no exact pendant in Sanskrit. Instead we find the words “varna” and “jati”. “Varna” (colour) refers to the occupation of the person or persons: the segment of society that are potters or porters etc., and “jati” (birth) denotes a community, i.e. where one is born and the codes of conduct that are followed by this segment of society.