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I know that in the area now known as India, there was a rigid caste system as a part of traditional Hindu beliefs. I also know that there are a number of Indian martial arts going back centuries. I have a vague idea that a spear was considered to be more noble than a sword, and that the sword was considered more noble than unarmed fighting, which was seen as barbaric. People in lower castes were forbidden to use any sort of weapon that was considered above them.

My question is: What, if any, was the relationship between caste and martial skill? As in, what castes were allowed to use what weapons/styles?

  • 3
    "Was once"?? Really? There still is a caste system, and those who say "was once" should tell that to the Dalits. – Deer Hunter Oct 28 '15 at 3:19
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    wikipedia has the beginning of the answer, but the notion of a warrior class is not unique to India, nor is the prohibition against peasants using weapons. – Mark C. Wallace Oct 28 '15 at 8:23
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    @DeerHunter - Changed to "was" (w/o "once"), which doesn't necessarily imply it isn't true now. However, this is the History stack, and discussions of to what extent that is still true today are off-topic. – T.E.D. Oct 28 '15 at 13:14
  • Suggest you read Wikipedia on the caste system, especially the kshatriya. – Mark C. Wallace May 23 '18 at 13:51

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