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Shudra is the fourth varna, as prescribed in the Purusha Sukta of the Rig veda, one of the sacred texts of Hinduism. This text defines society as comprising four groups, sometimes also called chaturvarna, of which the other three are Brahmins (priests), Kshatriya (those with governing functions) and Vaishya (agriculturalists, cattle rearers and traders). According to this ancient text, the Shudra perform functions of serving the other three varna.

The varna system became rigid in the later Vedic period. In modern Indian society, the government is taking steps to end these distinctions.[1]

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