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In India, caste system played the role similar to Sumptuary Laws of Europe? Justify it.

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1. India has no formal sumptuary laws but it has a very strict social code of food and dress. It is the caste system which defines what each caste should wear, eat, give, take, etc.

2. These codes are very rigid and are almost as forceful as laws. If there were any changes in these specified codes then reactions were often violent and disturbing.

3. The case of the Shanar caste is an example. The Shanars are a community from Travancore. They migrated to this area to work under the landlords who were the Nairs. The Shanars tapped toddy. They belonged to a ‘subordinate caste’ and as per the traditions had to follow certain specified norms

4. They were not allowed to wear slippers, use umbrellas and cover the upper portion of their body with clothing.

5. When the Christian missionaries came, they converted the Shanars to Christians.

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