caste system has left indelible marks on the genes of modern
Hindus, according to a group of Indian and American researchers.
The team told a meeting of the American Association of Physical
Anthropology that they collected blood samples from 300 unrelated
Indian men of all ranks in the hierarchy. Then they compared
genes from the Y chromosome, which traces paternal ancestry,
and from mitochondria, which is inherited only through the material
results reveal that the rules of caste were far more rigidly
enforced for men than for women. While it was always possible
for a woman to advance by marrying a man in a higher caste,
this was not possible for men. As a result, the mitochondrial
DNA shows slight blurring of the caste lines, while the Y chromosome
DNA segregates clearly into different castes.
team also found that higher castes resemble Caucasians more
than they do Asians. This fits the historical belief that the
caste system was imposed by Caucasians who swept into India
from the northwest.