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Fourth and lowest of the varnas, or social classes, of Hindu India. Traditionally composed of artisans and labourers, it probably originally included all conquered peoples of the Indus civilization as they were assimilated into the caste system. Members are not permitted to participate in the upanayana and thus cannot study the Vedas. The high end of the Shudra includes some landowners; at the low end are untouchables. See alsoBrahman; Kshatriya; Vaishya.
Variants of SHUDRA
Shudra or Sudra
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Shudra, visit Britannica.com.
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