The political structure of the Mayans was more rigid and static than that of South Asia, which had a more dynamic and diverse society.
The Mayan political and social order is comparable to the Hindu caste system. There was a clear division between nobles, commoners, serfs, and slaves, and there were also numerous important subdivisions within these categories. Mayan nobles, for instance, occupied the top two roles of the Hindu caste system, serving as priests and warriors, as well as being bureaucrats and diplomats.
If the political structure of South Asia had only ever consisted of the Hindu caste system, therefore, the Mayan and South Asian systems would have been very similar. However, for hundreds of years the rulers of South Asia were Muslim and, after the fall of the Mughal Empire, Christian. This meant that the Hindu caste system was surmounted by a governing class which Hindus regarded as foreign, and which provided a limited scope for social and political mobility, particularly under the reigns of more liberal emperors, such as Akbar, who reigned from 1556–1605.