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Archive for the ‘intercaste marriage’ Category

Why We Won’t Stop Buying Brides

The practice of bride buying is closely tied to many patriarchal conditions of sex selective abortions, dowry and gender discrimination. Are we ready to break all the moulds to really want to put an end to this?

A simple Google search on ‘bride buying India’ gives you a mix of results that indicate the human rights violating practice of bride buying in Northwestern states of India, matrimonial sites as well as links to designer bridal sarees and jewelry. This dichotomy itself explains a lot about how tradition and patriarchy are intertwined with the booming economy in our so-called modern Indian society.

The practice of bride buying is not very recluse from the society today. We know that it’s a vicious cycle and relationship between the gender bias within patriarchy and poverty in our country, although patriarchy does not have a stronger root or causality in poverty. Most of us know the stories and modus operandi to how it happens. The archaic system of patriarchy that propagate heavy dowries to be incurred for daughters’ marriages and desire for a long lineage, even to maintain the caste purity in the line, leads to a strong preference for the male child. Female babies are either killed in the foetus or killed or thrown in the garbage shortly after their birth. This issue was vehemently taken up and investigated from all angles in the launch episode of the social issues show, Satyameva Jayate, hosted by popular actor, Aamir Khan.

Decades of families and communities killing the girl child has resulted in an entire demographic of young girls and women missing in many villages in the Northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, which are some of the most key places. Hence, in sexual frustration and desperation and of course, the fear of their family being wiped out of the face of existence (which is what they attempted to save in the first place), they look for brides from poorer states on the Eastern parts of India. This time: caste, religion, ethnicity, color and even age, no bar.

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The India Lovers Party is promising affirmative action for couples disowned by their families, and hoping to sweep into the Tamil Nadu state government.

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Caste of Shadows: Love, Sacrifice and Hinduism
David Pambianchi

Moral Code defines the core of most religion, its cement and social bonding power. To love, avoid aggression, seek truth, be just, believe and act what the heart and conscience tells us is right, such thoughts can lift the spirit, and for most religions serve as a guide to help mold a believer’s spirituality and sustain a stable and productive lifestyle. Yet too often through perverse or selective interpretation, followers take actions contrary to their religion’s fundamental doctrines. To discriminate, be hurtful, harm, murder and even use religion as a way to justify barbarous behaviors becomes acceptable.

For the past ten years, Sujit Dhakal (Sam) resides with his wife in Queens, New York, a U.S. resident raising two children. Once a privileged member of the Nepal “Bramhan” upper Caste, as a young journalist, Sam fell in love with a fellow writer and decided to Inter-Caste marry Ranu. But born into the Newar “Shrestha” Caste, Ranu sat two levels lower within the rigid system. The repercussions include death threats and expulsion from family and society.

For defying tradition, Sam’s father Kanhaiya Upadhyaay, president of a Hindu religious organization (Dhakal Kuldewata Sewa Samiti), in Janakpur Dham, Nepal, disowned his son, removing Sam and his daughter-in-law from the family lineage, “I’ll not see your face again until after I’m dead.”

After some years, the attitude remains unchanged. When Sam planned a trip to Nepal with his son, Samarpan, for Bratabandha, (a ritual after a child reaches age 7 and above that essentially carries the weight of a Catholic Confirmation or Jewish Bar Mitzvah), a meeting was held to revoke Samarpan’s Hindu rite of passage, and in the event of a confrontation, the grandfather and the organization threatened “unto death” to stop the ritual. Sam cancelled the trip. Full Story

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