Shudra (Sanskrit शूद्र, m. , Sudra, f, Sudra ) is in the Indian caste system, the name given to the fourth caste (Varna ) of the traditional four castes. Make (apart from the untouchables who are outside the caste system ) is the lowest layer of Indian society and form the majority of the population: artisans, tenant farmers, day laborers, servants, agricultural workers, workers.
In modern India, where the caste system has been abolished since the founding of the Republic in 1947, but continued especially in rural areas and among orthodox Hindus plays a major role, the Shudras form the so-called other backward castes. Since the untouchable box ( the scheduled castes ) facilitating access to sites was granted in the administration according to a quota system, it stirred up opposition from the other backward castes, because they found themselves at a disadvantage. The result was that the other backward castes increasingly try to enjoy these benefits by also quotas are granted to them because of backwardness. The Shudra castes are also the orthodox Hindu as pure, which is why they have always lived in the villages. Since the Sudras are very numerous, the term Shudra says little about group membership, as is the case for example with the Brahmins. The sub-castes ( jatis ) are meaningful here and play a bigger role in one's identity and social life.
In the 10th book of the Rigveda, the so-called Purushasukta, describes how the different castes have emerged. They were created during a victim from the primeval giant Purusha. Were from the head while the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas from the arms, the legs were from the Vaishya and Shudra from the feet of the.
According to the classical legal texts like the Manusmriti the Shudras are committed to the higher castes to the service.