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For visitors unaccustomed to this system of hereditary social division

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For visitors unaccustomed to this system of hereditary social division  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 07:04
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 123, Date : 03-APR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


For visitors unaccustomed to this system of hereditary social divisions, the complex and mostly unwritten rules governing whom a person can marry, what kind of work she can do, and even what kind of food she can eat may seem puzzling and mysterious. One reason for this confusion is that the concept of caste is actually divided into two separate but related concepts in Indian culture: varna and jati.

Varna, which literally means “color,” is the most basic social division. There are four varna: the Brahmans, the traditional priest class; the Kshatriya, the warrior class; the Vaishya, the skilled workers and merchants; and the Sudra, laborers whose role is to serve the three higher classes. Below the Sudra are a class known as the Untouchables, who technically fall outside of the varna system because they are supposedly “unclean” in a ritual sense. The Untouchables are the lowest class in India, but they make life possible for everyone else because they take care of the jobs that would “pollute” the higher classes, such as working with dead animals or cleaning sewage. The Indian statesman Mohandas Gandhi, in an effort to promote social equality, encouraged people to refer to Untouchables as the Harijan, which means “Children of God.”

Each varna is then divided into hundreds or thousands of jati, a term that literally means “birth.” The jati are kinship groups with hereditary roles and professions, such as leatherworker or brickmaker. Observant Hindus have traditionally married within their varna and jati.

The origins of the caste system are obscure. The prevailing theory among anthropologists is that the Varna system emerged shortly after the so-called Aryan Invasion of the second millennium B.C. According to this theory, a population of Indo-European invaders conquered northern India around 1500 B.C. The Indo-Europeans placed themselves in the three highest rungs of society (Brahman, Kshatriya, and Vaishya), corresponding to the traditional division of Indo-European societies into priests, warriors, and commoners, while placing the conquered local populations into the worker classes of the Sudra and the Untouchables. This theory does not account for the jati system, however, which has parallels in no other Indo-European society. Most anthropologists suggest that the jati system predates the varna system,
and that it might have originated in the Harappan civilization that prevailed in northern India prior to the Aryan Invasion.
1. What is the primary purpose of the passage?

A. To compare and contrast two theories on the origin of the caste system in India
B. To shed some light on an aspect of Indian society that can be confusing to outsiders
C. To highlight the social injustices still faced by the Untouchable caste in India today
D. To discredit the theory that the “Aryan Invasion” brought an end to the Harappan civilization
E. To explain to the reader the distinction between the Brahman and Kshatriya castes


2. The final paragraph plays what role in relation to the rest of the passage?

A. It offers information that raises doubts about the conclusions expressed in the previous paragraph.
B. It discusses an alternative view to points stated as facts in the second paragraph.
C. It restates the question raised in the opening paragraph, using information offered in the second and third paragraphs.
D. It offers background information for the system described in the two preceding paragraphs.
E. It summarizes points raised elsewhere in the passage.


3. What can we infer about the intentions of Mohandas Gandhi from the mention of him in the passage?

A. He wished to switch the respective socioeconomic positions of the highest and the lowest castes in Indian society.
B. He desired the reconciliation of India with Pakistan.
C. He rejected the so-called Aryan Invasion in favor of an autochthonous explanation for the roots of Indian culture.
D. He supported the cultural dominance of the Brahman “priest” caste over the Kshatriya “warrior” caste.
E. He wished to free a class of people from the stigma of an unfavorable name.


4. The relationship of jati to varna is most comparable to which of the following relationships?

A. The relationship of individual playing cards to a fifty-two-card deck
B. The relationship of a group of related species of animals to the genus to which the species belong
C. The relationship of a compact disk to the songs contained on that disk
D. The relationship of a transmission to the car in which the transmission has been installed
E. The relationship of an updated version of software to the original version of that software


5. What inference could reasonably be drawn from the second to last sentence of the passage?

A. Unlike the situation of the jati, parallels can be found between the varna system and the social divisions found in other Indo-European societies.
B. The jati system is actually a product of the Dravidian cultures of central and southern India.
C. Although more anthropologists support the Aryan Invasion theory than support any other explanation for the origins of the caste system, a majority of anthropologists do not believe this theory.
D. The jati system, unlike the varna system, developed after the influence of IndoEuropeans in India had already been established.
E. The Sudra did not willingly accept the low-caste jati to which they were assigned, but these social roles were forced upon them anyway.


6. According to the passage, the caste system would affect all except which of the following scenarios in a caste-observant Indian person’s life?

A. A Brahman is having dinner with foreign visitors and is offered either a hamburger or a bowl of rice.
B. A Vaishya mother is considering which of the young women in the local town would make suitable marriage prospects for her son.
C. Two Sudra teenagers engage in a foot race, and the younger of the two wins the race.
D. A 40-year-old man from the Untouchable caste has moved from the countryside to a large city and must look for work in order to support his family.
E. The home of a Kshatriya family is located near a city sewer line, which bursts one day and floods the family’s garage.



Source: McGraw-Hill's GMAT
Difficulty Level: 600

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Re: For visitors unaccustomed to this system of hereditary social division  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 19:25
6 minutes to read and answer all the questions.
Got all correct except 5th.
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Re: For visitors unaccustomed to this system of hereditary social division  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 07:41
9 mins and got 5 questions correct!!
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Re: For visitors unaccustomed to this system of hereditary social division  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 22:44
:cool:
5:15 min all correct
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Re: For visitors unaccustomed to this system of hereditary social division   [#permalink] 04 Apr 2019, 22:44
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