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How does India’s caste system work?

By Jay Elwes & Alexander Brown  

© dorling kindersley

Read Arundhati Roy’s cover story on the Caste system

India’s caste system is a social structure that divides different groups into ranked categories. Members of “higher” castes have a greater social status than individuals of a “lower” caste. Indian law prohibits discrimination by caste, although caste identities remain of great significance at the local level, especially in relation to marriage. A survey in 2005 found that only 11 per cent of women had married a man of different caste.

The system appears to…

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