Under a caste system, the members of different castes (ranked hereditary groups) cannot marry and are separated into distinct lines of work and social functions.
The Indian caste system is complex and often misunderstood by foreign scholars. Roughly speaking, two types of hierarchies existed in traditional Hindu India: one made up of thousands of different castes, called jati, and another made up of four larger social classes, called varna. At the bottom of this pecking order were the untouchables, who did the most menial work.
In 1949, the Indian government legally abolished untouchability, and
the society has gradually moved to remove caste distinctions in the workforce
and social relations.