In India, the caste system developed and is prevalent since ancient times and it remains as a great thorn and mystery in the flesh of Mother India
It is believed to have been adopted by the Brahmins to express their superiority and to maintain it. Then the Aryan races swept into India from the North and they wanted them to be superior to the insiders and so they maintained the prevalent caste systems. Gradually the caste system became formalized into four major groups, each with its own rules and regulations and code of conduct.
At the top rung of the caste ladder in India comes the Brahmins who have maintained themselves as priests and arbiters regarding religious and financial problems. Then come the Kshatriyas or the Soldiers and administrators. They are followed by the Vaisyas who are the artists and commercial class members and lastly comes the Sudras who represent the peasants and the farming class. According to the ancient Rishis these four castes have come from the body of Lord Brahma, The Brahmins from his mouth, the Kshatriyas from the arms, the Vaisyas from the thighs and the Sudras from his feet. Each caste has further inner divisions, which are mainly controlled by the type of work the person undertakes.
Behind all these comes the last sect of people framed as untouchables or"Harijans" or "Children of God" as called by Gandhiji.He worked a lot for their upliftment and betterment. They are classified as the Scheduled Castes and they performed menial jobs but now thanks to reservations, they have showed up in almost all High-level Departments.
Nowadays due to better education and Westernization the caste system has weakened and is fragile, but for the uneducated masses of India. Mostly Hinduism is based upon this caste system. The other religions, which crept into India like Islam, Christianity, etc don't profess caste divisions.
In an effort to improve the lot of the lower caste people, the Government of India has come out with special packages like Public sector jobs, Parliamentary seats and college seats for them. But still caste systems pose a great threat for the upliftment of our country due to frequent upheavals regarding reservations, etc.
But overall it helps in the grouping of people into smaller units with common interests and goals, so that the culture of the country is not lost due to the dispersion of its manpower.