The present work has been undertaken not only to provide an adequate treatment of the position of the sudras in ancient times, but also to evaluate their modern characterizations, either based on insufficient data or inspired by reformist or anti-reformist motives. Here an attempt has been made to present a connected and systematic account of the various developments in the position of the sudras down to circa A.D. 600. Since the sudras were regarded as the laboring class, in this study particular attention has been paid to the investigation of their material conditions has been paid to their economic and social relations with the members of the higher varnas. This has naturally involved the study of the position of slaves, with whom the sudras were considered identical. The untouchables are also theoretically placed in the category of sudras and hence their origin and position has also been discussed in some detail.
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