I know this is a stupid question, but I still have a doubt which needs to be cleared.
My question is, why can we not define a class as
I know that we can’t, but why? There should be some specific reason.
Because it makes no sense.
Protected class member (method or variable) is just like package-private (default visibility), except that it also can be accessed from subclasses.
Since there’s no such concept as ‘subpackage’ or ‘package-inheritance’ in Java, declaring class protected or package-private would be the same thing.
You can declare nested and inner classes as protected or private, though.