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An Indian female Dalit, member of Hinduism lowest caste, wears a headband bearing the slogan "Cast Out Caste" as she marches at the 2004 World Social Forum (WSF), in Bombay. (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian female Dalit, member of Hinduism lowest caste, wears a headband bearing the slogan "Cast Out Caste" as she marches at the 2004 World Social Forum (WSF), in Bombay. (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

Timeline

Timeline: A brief history of India's caste system Add to ...

India's caste system - the oldest social order in the world - divides society into four castes, and thousands of subcastes - based on traditional occupations. From 1200 BC to the present, The Globe chronicles the major developments in this system.

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