Intercaste Marriage

There are numerous concerns about intercaste marriage which lurk in various people’s head individually and fail to follow up like a will-0-wisp in a marsh. Here are some of my views posted here and there to such querries.

1. Folks, what you feel, about such inter-religion (inter-caste) marriages…. specially…. buddhist(dalits) marrying hindu ppl? is it sustainable? and what r pitfalls of it? are such marriages the new ways of exploitations of our community ppl( especially girls)?

It is not exploitation exactly. But, in my personal view, the risk involved in potential misunderstanding is higher (in caste-hindu and dalit-Buddhist couples), considering the mutually antagonistic views we have in most of the issues starting from religion to reservation.

See, I don’t squarely blame hindus. It is very difficult to capture the “feeling of the discriminated” and “its socio-economic as well as psychological consequences” unless you are treated such. Hence this gap is very difficult to bridge and sometimes becomes the bone of contention in a couple. Well, it is true for all not only hindus. But with hindus, its bit more complicated. Since, when they acknowledge this, they have to compromise on their caste-interest, the supposedly superiority of Indian culture, the greatness of their Epic and sacred book, in short everything they have learned as revered and infallible. Even though they realise the truth, they try to look at the brighter side (which is why we see eulogising everything indian and sanskit by Indian scholars) and keep at bay the guilt-conscience (probably).

This is one of the plethora of points to ponder. Btw, marriage overall is a complex issue. It should rather remain personal but a fully informed decision.

2. what do u think on intercast marrige espacially bramahn gal & dalit guy as its becoming fashin now.

Dalit-brahmin inter-caste marriage is not a step towards casteless society, but creation of a content, socially-indifferent group alienated from Dalits.But we cannot curb some one’s freedom to choose a life-partner.

Hence we need to address the root causes of the issue, which are 1. our inability to send Dalit girls to institutes of higher learning as much as Dalit boys 2. Our acceptance of caste-hindu look(to be specific fair skin, sharp features etc) wrongly and unknowingly as standard of beauty 3. our tendency to forget the past like a nightmare etc.

We must admit that the way we deride “hiding caste” as slave attitude, the same way we must held “lookism” in contempt. We must remember that unless we admit “Dalit appearance”, “Dalit gestures” and above all love and respect “Dalit womanhood”, the celebration of Dalit identity will be incomplete and vulnerable.

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23 thoughts on “Intercaste Marriage

  1. Note from the blogger:- The author’s name of this comment is withheld by me, to facilitate an impersonal discussion. I felt it was required cause it brought a different approach to the issue, and would encourage discussion if sanely pursued. I am sure, all we are looking for is robust arguments.
    -Blogger

    Oh wow , your words are so true. I was wondering why do intercaste marriages have to be cited with a popular example of brahmin girl and a dalit boy? why is it still not dalit women and higher caste men? well there are many explanations for that but turning towards the fact, dalit women are losing out on ” dalit grooms” simply because our men want fair= beautiful=higher caste women. They dont bother to discover the beauty, erotica and duskiness of their own women who are fearless , sensitive, sensible and will die for ambedkar. show me one higher caste woman married into dalit family posses these characteristics. they will be sensible in dividing the family, sensitive and self centered towards their own issues, practical and rational for their personal benefit and forget ambedkar don’t even mention him!!!

    why dont dalit men understand the fact that getting married to a higher caste woman is not emancipation but thanks to this deep rooted brahminism they will ignore this as well. A history that we want to fight against and the irony is its being repeated by none other than the torchbearers of buddhism and ambedkarism.

    I also wonder how would dalit patriarchy react if a dalit woman wishes to marry a so called higher caste man (he has to be either influenced by left or ambedkar for being eligible) how would the dalit patriarchy react to it?

    when a dalit woman chooses her higher caste spouse in cases that at least i had seen , its the association of ideology, its the philosophy , the practice of equality and ambedkar that brings them together. But with our dalit men , its the looks, the caste, the culture and the beauty that attracts him to a higher caste woman.

    Most of the dalit men should admit their narrowness , their prejudices against their own women and their hidden love for higher caste women. I dont blame them if they feel momentary empowered with this sense of belongingness

    intercaste marriages wont change the notion of caste, a conscious state of mind, if not mine ..yours…….but lets honestly attempt in anyways

  2. It was great to have Dalit wom(e/a)n’s perspective on the issue. (None of the discussions I had, had any so far. It merely was yes/no).

    I agree with Viewer-1 in entirety. However, scope of the issue does not end here. For example,

    1. when a dalit woman chooses her higher caste spouse in cases that at least i had seen , its the association of ideology, its the philosophy , the practice of equality and ambedkar that brings them together

    This is the ideal case. In fact, the ideal case would be “destruction of religion(sastras)” and “change of notion of caste” prior to intercaste marriage ( as I understand from Annihilation of caste- Dr. Ambedkar). But as long as dalit men/women do not have any ideals, ideal case of intercaste-marriage is a non-issue. I really wonder if any caste-hindu would walk such length !!

    2. If Dalit men are prejudiced against their very own Dalit women, what on earth makes them attractive to caste-Hindu women ? After all, we are not a different breed. No macho image of cine-khans hover around us. The answer is rather obvious, but hardly ever contemplated.

  3. Note from the blogger:- The author’s name of this comment is withheld by me, to facilitate an impersonal discussion. I felt it was required cause it brought a different approach to the issue, and would encourage discussion if sanely pursued. I am sure, all we are looking for is robust arguments.
    -Blogger

    Hello:

    You know what,i am going to send this post to all those dalit men that i know…….let them at least gasp intended to strike and open their psyched brains!!!

  4. Note from the blogger:- The author’s name of this comment is withheld by me, to facilitate an impersonal discussion. I felt it was required cause it brought a different approach to the issue, and would encourage discussion if sanely pursued. I am sure, all we are looking for is robust arguments.
    -Blogger

    World would have been much better and easier if things were in so black and white.

    I beg to differ from both Prabin and Viewer-1 on many points as i feel that some of their opinions have been based on gross generalisation.

    Let me start with Prabin

    1. “Dalit-brahmin inter-caste marriage is not a step towards casteless society, but creation of a content, socially-indifferent group alienated from Dalits”

    First of all to believe that Dalits and brahmin marrying each other can be ideologically driven is erroneous proposition. Like any other love marriages here in this case also it solely depends on personal choices. They are not marrying to create a caste-less society. They just want to lead their life with each other. Nothing more, nothing less. So to demand an output of casteless society is incorrect.
    Adding to it to say that just by marrying into non-Dalit (or say brahmin) they become content, indifferent and alienated is again just an assumption. If we look carefully this phenomenon is not restricted with only those Dalits who marry outside. Their percentage is miniscule and stands no where if compared with those Dalits who marry within their own caste and become content, indifferent and alienated. This is the larger problem which Dalit movement has yet to tackle. Inter-caste marriage has nothing to do with that.
    I have seen so many Dalit spouses (both m/f) restricting and questioning the activities of their partners who want to participate in the movement. It is the failure of the movement that has been unable to make such people who acquire some position to come out of their inferiority complex. To find reasons in their spouses for such behavior is incorrect.
    A Dalit individual who has come out with his/her inferiority complex and has Dalit consciousness will never become alienated and indifferent whomsoever he/she marries but definitely bring his/her partner also to the same view point. And if he is not that then whether he/she marries a Dalit or non-Dalit he/she will be alienated and indifferent.

    2. Given this situation I am not saying that caste differences will not come across to a couple of Dalit and non-Dalit background. During their conjugal life these differences will occur but difference also occurs from couples from different class/race/religion/culture. Some of them are able to cope up with that and some are not and result in lots of acrimony in between the couple. To stop such differences to occur then we must stop all marriages which have slightest of cultural, social, economical and regional variations. Why single out inter-caste only then.

    To be continued……..…

  5. Note from the blogger:- The author’s name of this comment is withheld by me, to facilitate an impersonal discussion. I felt it was required cause it brought a different approach to the issue, and would encourage discussion if sanely pursued. I am sure, all we are looking for is robust arguments.
    -Blogger

    Coming to Viewer-1’s post

    1. I was wondering why do intercaste marriages have to be cited with a popular example of brahmin girl and a dalit boy? why is it still not dalit women and higher caste men?

    Simple. Because the number of dalit male marrying a brahmin woman is far numerous then the other way around. Blame it on upward mobility of both dalit male and brahmin woman as compared to dalit woman. But the biggest culprit is that our society is not only castist but patriarchal to the core.
    Let us analyse first sitaution of dalit-male and brahmin woman falling in love and getting married. If u have noticed among all woman it is the brahmin women ( may be christian women also) whose percentage will be much higher going for love-marriages outside their caste/religion. The percentage of brahmin (or christian) women is more as compared to other women is because of their relatively better chances of surviving societal pressure against their life choices as they are better educationally qualified and has maximum chances of living independently from their family. This upward mobility gives them better chance to negotiate with their own family’s patriarchy which restricts love marriages.
    Then it is not that brahmin women are marrying only dalit males only. They are also going for muslim, christians, sikh, OBCs guys. Infact their choosing dalit partner has least preference among the choices available to them.
    Whereas other caste women fare badly in doing love marriages as compared to their brahmin counterpart is due to lack of their own upward mobility. They are far outnumbered by brahmin women in education and independent jobs etc and have to succumb to patrirachal society. Given a better chance the number of their marrying outside the caste will be same as brahmin women. This holds true for dalit women also.
    Now Vis-a vis Second case of upper caste male not marrying dalit women is a clear cut case of casteism as well as patriarchy as no male from whatever caste background will like to marry a women from lower caste background. It is true for dalit males also. The cases of dalit males from dominant dalit caste marrying into lower dalit caste women is as non-existent as upper caste male marrying dalit women.

    2. They dont bother to discover the beauty, erotica and duskiness of their own women who are fearless , sensitive, sensible and will die for ambedkar. show me one higher caste woman married into dalit family posses these characteristics. they will be sensible in dividing the family, sensitive and self centered towards their own issues, practical and rational for their personal benefit and forget ambedkar don’t even mention him!!!

    Here I have nothing much to say or argue as I don’t see any scope for both since the whole statement is based on crude romanticising of dalit women image and crude stereotypying of other caste women.
    Then also I will like to say soemthing
    The beauty, erotica, sensitivity is not exclusive preserve of dalit women only and more often then not they are as involved in dividing the family and breaking way the son/brother from the family as their non-dalit counterparts ( if at all only wives are responsible for breaking of joint families which I beg to differ but I am making this argument based on Viewer-1’s assumption of women breaking household)

    3. Regarding looks I agree with both Apo and Viewer-1 that it is unfortunate that we follow the norms of beauty set by others. The fair, tall, slim parameters of feminine beauty have victims from all caste, caste, religion not only dalit women. A black and fat brahmin woman will find the same dificulty in finding suitable match as dalit woman of same physical features. This happens in arranged marriage the more where whether she is a brahmin or a dalit woman she is scrutinised and the quality of grooms is more often than not depend on her physical appearance

  6. Note from the blogger:- The author’s name of this comment is withheld by me, to facilitate an impersonal discussion. I felt it was required cause it brought a different approach to the issue, and would encourage discussion if sanely pursued. I am sure, all we are looking for is robust arguments.
    -Blogger

    yeah i agree to what you had to say of generalization but they are largely drawn from empirical evidences. Any thing personally seen or experienced is political and highly applicable for these contexts.

    Before I explain my stand i would like to seek some explanations from you ,that are truly basic: what is a society? and when you blame dalit woman for lacking up ward mobility who is to blame? who is responsible for this? You cant shrug it off as abstract things when you say , ‘our society’ dalit women have to blame themselves’. I think we need to be specific here. Our society is highly debatable again and so the latter part.

    coming to my point:

    My whole argument or discussion was about the acceptance of dalit womans appearance and secondly the inter caste marriage of dalit men (pratiloma- higher caste women marrying a lower caste) increasingly and particularly leading to caste emancipation ?

    The non acceptance of dalit womans appearance is truly a concern atleast with dalit men leading to non acceptance and increasing cases of pratiloma marriage. I am ridiculously unconcerned about higher caste men on dalit women.

    The rhetorics( higher caste) have given ultimatum to fair=beautiful imprints, I see that as a gene of chatur varna and not pure obsession with fair skin after the goras left india as popularly and wrongly conceived by Indians. The roots are much deeper than we think.

    Secondly, its altogether a different world for someone who is a woman+ dark+ dalit and not necessarily fat and ugly. A higher caste woman even if she is dark and ugly hooks up a guy through her so called upwardly mobile world and her advantageous position like caste, good education, stable financial conditions, jobs, exposure and she has space at disposal where she can meet and interact with not only men but also women and so on. Dark women that belong to higher caste find space for themselves through their “inherent advantageous position”; Kajol, Bipasha Basu, Rani Mukherjee and so many christian models carol gracias , Diana Hayden and so on have been successful models and actresses. They are not necessarily beautiful if we take off their face paints. So you see there is a difference. From celluloid to TV screens of course you see dusky women and inevitably we also know where they belong to in social hierarchy.

    Okay My views of let me borrows apos term – ‘dalit womanhood”
    Am I romanticizing dalit womans beauty? Not at all thats a fact for their appearance which is strikingly different from their counterparts which has got under written ,deliberately. I dont have to argue to convince about their eroticism that has been associated not only with dalit women but also dalit men. Black women , men , and oppressed men and women have dominated the discourse on eroticism. Arundhati Roy has beautifully said in her novel where one of main character is attracted to a lower caste man, the book dark continent says that and dalit literature reveals the enormous strength a dalit woman has. Duskiness , precisely black bodies of slaves /exotics are a necessary part of erotic portrayal and arousal in the west and for me I am happy to associate that in the context of dalit women, if some one finds its too much to digest, dont deal with it. There are more acceptances here from the west than rejections of biased world of India for me to care about my constructions. I am trying to deconstruct of what has been shown to us as weak, ugly, powerless and submissive, those are the inflicted ones , the real ones have been untouched which i and others are trying to reconstruct.

    2) Now about women as home breakers or homemakers. The whole concept of nuclear family if you trace came up post industrialization in Indian society ,however it was not of much consideration for bonded laborers, agrarian laborers and population that were involved in low income jobs. Dalits mostly composed of these groups.
    For Dalits kinship was very vital, who else they could depend on? Especially the joint families ,It was shield to protect from caste based atrocities.

    When dalits migrated to cities it was large scale villages, families of dalits that migrated . One example is of dalit migration to then colonial bombay, families and relatives migrated unlike husband wife migration of the higher caste. women followed men read vandana desai with higher caste migration leading to nuclear families. Whereas Dalits families, relatives, extended kinship, villages have migrated a notable difference.

    For everyone in India caste networks are very important. For higher caste- its a route to build up ward mobility and for lower caste its a matter of survival. caste network precisely based on kinship is/was an essential part for dalit survival. Nuclear family was not at all a viable proposition.

    Now this was also the time when the dominant castes were engaging into the western world of foreign goods, newly acquired white collar jobs, chiffon sarees, hoop rings, bell bottoms, fiat cars and nuclear families. The kobra brahmins ( konkanstha brahmins) are known to retain the culture of nuclear families very openly. and precisely , this has perpetuated with the inter caste marriages especially pratiloma. Dalit families could not/cannot afford of loosing an earning member or support system or their safety nets in their circumstances.

    With the newly acquired up ward mobility of dalit men and the addition of higher caste women , dalit men find themselves in a helpless situation. Largely these hen pecked husbands choose to alienate their mothers for ailing higher caste aai (mother in law) relatives, unmarried sisters , brother etc for this newly acquired social status. So I am not biased or unreasonable to say that.

    And ya Dalit men are not a least choice for the higher caste women , had that being the case we would have not being on this boardroom for a discussion. I am disturbed by the fact that dalit men are justifying their marriages to higher caste women under the name of emancipation. Of course he is emancipating himself from his family and community and not the caste and atrocious religion.His children refer to him as ‘BABA’ and their mothers are strictly AAI. These are not dalit terms. The subtle and over looked day to day life, culture, thoughts, associations, ideas, definitions, caste, ,religious identity have sublimed even radical men and their off springs forget the normal ones.

    Dalit movements are a total different point of discussion. Read Mallika Dhasal in ‘ Mala udhvast whaychay” where she mentions Namdeo Dhasal ,her husband leaving her in the midst of their intimate moments for the Panthers(dalit activist for you) making her feel lonely and unsatisfactory for his dalit community. I can be sympathetic to her as a woman but cant accept you being unjust about the dalit panthers. And yes Mallika was not a dalit woman.

    Now about your wrong judgment of dalit groom are less preferred in the choices available for higher caste women even in a minuscule numbers , for that I am delighted to know that at least few dalit men are saved now. I am sorry but thats how it is. Did you know that there was similar type of crisis in USA. Black men were coolly taken away by white women. And its always successful men of oppressed/depressed/ community, would these girls fall in love with a slum dwellers who is a dalit. Yeah they would only in case if he is an IAS.IPS/PhD/MBA/software , only successful men matters. Not an unemployed dalit youth, who has dedicated himself for the movement.

    Although I agree of what you say about love marriage, but “the considerations of who to fall in love with” for higher caste women makes me suspicious of their love, its all a practical and rational love affair after all ,for them. I have known a lot of these women psyche over the years, its not prejudice that makes me think so, i have seen them closely.

  7. well!!! a subject close to my heart. just a few questions and comments to whomever it may concern! since i have been witnessing this phenomenon of bringing dalit men to the courtroom for seeing/ having married brahmin women for quite some time now, i am tempted to ask a very simple question- r v fighting for the annhilation of caste (one of the chief recipes for which is inter-caste marriage as propounded by babasaheb) or r v advocating the strenghthening of the pernicious caste system??

    1.) ”…show me one higher caste woman married into dalit family posses these characteristics. they will be sensible in dividing the family, sensitive and self centered towards their own issues, practical and rational for their personal benefit and forget ambedkar don’t even mention him!!!…”

    what a gross generalization! it is unimaginable agony to be a brahmin girl, committed to ambedkarite cause, determined to marry an ”unemployed dalit youth, who has dedicated himself for the movement” and then listening to all kinds of abuses by the ‘champions’ of the dalit movement (mostly male)!!! the conspiracy theory is passe- a tactic employed by the patriarchal dalit movement which sees brahmin women as the ‘honour’ of the ‘other’ and, therefore, liable to be ‘impregnated’ by vitriolic abuses like ‘brahmin women are public sector randis’!!!

    2.) ”…the irony is its being repeated by none other than the torchbearers of buddhism and ambedkarism…”

    well, whoever chooses to denounce ambedkarism by choosing to lead a brahminical life (by the way, this transformation does not only happen because of marriage) does not remain the torchbearers of buddhism and ambedkarism any more!!!

    3.) ”…when a dalit woman chooses her higher caste spouse in cases that at least i had seen , its the association of ideology, its the philosophy , the practice of equality and ambedkar that brings them together. But with our dalit men , its the looks, the caste, the culture and the beauty that attracts him to a higher caste woman…”

    too gross a generalization to comment!!! maaf karna dost, but dalit girls also have the right to marry for sheer upward mobility!!!

    4.) why are we not engaging with the myriad dalit identities?! why is there such a propensity to stereotype dalit- man and woman? please… it has been proven that no race/ caste/ ethnicity in india is ‘pure’! how do u explain a ‘fair and handsome’ dalit guy or a ‘fair and lovely’ dalit girl? and by the way, how can being born into a dalit family make one a dalit… without dalit consciousness, dalits are as much a part of the caste system as any caste Hindu is! TO ME, IT IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT/ DISCUSS/ STRATEGIZE HOW TO POPULARIZE AND TAKE PEOPLE INTO THE FOLDS OF AMBEDKARITE IDEOLOGY, THAN TO DON VICTIMHOOD AND REVEL IN IT!!!

  8. I guess I have too many comments to address to, and I am sorry to do that so late. But before I do I encourage you to read this essay, which I found interesting.Black man-white woman: A philosophical perspective

    So..Lets start from Viewer-2,(comment-4 & 5).

    1. First of all to believe that Dalits and brahmin……………incorrect.

    Agreed. Lets not burden those who don’t consider themselves as elements of society but as Individuals. I guess that is fair enough. I never intended my post to “lovers-who-have-outer-caste-beloved” or “married-so” to feel bad about themselves. It meant to provide some directions to the people who pause to think over it and its relevance to the society.

    I must add here. We all cherish individual liberty, liberal thinking (as opposed to conservative/xenophobic attitudes). Hence, freedom of choice, living on your own terms are encouraged. ( Viewer-1,I hope you agree here). But does it really happen ?? None of you can disagree on these a.) Our choices are not always independent, but socio-cultural, peer-influenced and so on b.) When choices become trends they become the subject of talk.

    2. The first para of yours, which I addressed, was talking of a “content, indifferent and alienated” group. But I humbly agree to that fact that the indifference on part of the dalit-marrying inside caste is more serious and numerous than the the one in discussion. But the question was “is the dalit-castehindu marriage a step towards creation of casteless society” ? We both agreed it not necessarily does that. And, unmentioned initially but as the discussion progresses, another is, “does it dilute the social responsibility of intermarrying dalits” ?

    3. A Dalit individual who has come out with his/her inferiority complex and has Dalit consciousness will never become alienated.

    Namdeo Dasal ?? All I am saying is,if my activism/intellectual pursuit, by whatever means I might be contributing, creates discomfort in my personal life or has the potential to do so, then there is greater chance I might hibernate. No ?

    4. Why single out inter-caste only then ?

    I guess, I have given enough reasons for that in my post. Anything more I say would be mere extension of that.

    4. Simple. Because the number of dalit male…..

    Well, I agree the part that our patriarchal society has severely stunted dalit women’s upward mobility. That I always thought one of the root causes of Dalit men marrying outside.

    But I dont agree that, increase in number of upward mobile dalit women balancing that of dalit men, would result in same instances of caste-hindu men dalit women marriages. It might increase number wise though. Because we need to understand, that preferred qualities in a woman prospect are different(partially, if not totally) than of a man prospect. Besides, the post-marriage social life of a dalit-woman-castehindu man would be totally different from that of the dalit-man-castehindu woman.

    5. Then it is not that brahmin women are marrying only dalit males only. They are also going for muslim, christians, sikh, OBCs guys. Infact their choosing dalit partner has least preference among the choices available to them.

    This is a very interesting exposition.

    6. The cases of dalit males from dominant dalit caste marrying into lower dalit caste women is as non-existent as upper caste male marrying dalit women.

    This is a very grave concern. I always believed the rate limiting factor here is “communication” rather than casteism, as long as both are untouchable SCs. Because in a middle class, in the city, work or educational set up-which is actually the hub of intercaste relationships- anyone hardly goes anything beyond knowing that I am a Dalit. Like, ya SC ? well what SC? Even if I tell another SC from Tamilnadu, i was a domb (no i am not dumb, my caste is ) she would hardly understand. Then she might have to go on asking my caste-based profession, which I sometimes think weaving (!), or playing music at weddings and funerals (I), sometimes scavenging (I), we ate pigs and carcases too. You might ask, what about SCs from manual scavenging community, there I agree. Somebody educate me here !!. But I concede there are casteism in dalits subcastes, in their home and surroundings.

  9. i am tempted to ask a very simple question- r v fighting for the annhilation of caste (one of the chief recipes for which is inter-caste marriage as propounded by babasaheb) or r v advocating the strenghthening of the pernicious caste system??

    This is one of the greatest contradictions I (we all have, I guess) have had at any point of time, and I have reached some bitter conclusions. But I invite you to elaborate and post me at praveen.no@gmail.com I would like to publish it as a main page document and we could have a discussion on the possibility of a casteless society.

    t is unimaginable agony to be a brahmin girl, committed to ambedkarite ……………………………………..public seector @$#*^*’!!!

    As I said, that would be the ideal case, something we would look forward to (well, not always for unemployed youths). I apologize on behalf of the dalit males, to such couples.

    and by the way, how can being born into a dalit family make one a dalit… without dalit consciousness, dalits are as much a part of the caste system as any caste Hindu is!

    Only thing is, with or without dalit consciousness a “dalit” suffers a “caste-hindu” does not. We should remember, the society does not discriminate between the types of dalit, it only knows caste. Although I agree, the first step has to be taken by the dalit, to reject the caste system.

    ……………THAN TO DON VICTIMHOOD AND REVEL IN IT!!!

    If I know any english, I am surprised to death here.

  10. 1.) it would be great if you specifically pointed out the error in the language before dying of surprise!!!

    rest later…

  11. Very well,consider these

    1. SC/ST students face discrimination because they come through reservation, which is a short-cut to success.

    2. Manual scavengers themselves stick to that job because of job security. They are unwilling to give it up.

    3. SC/STs use SC/ST(prevention of atrocities) Act to settle personal scores. (you might know the rather infamous cases of NITIE and IITB, mumbai)

    All my life I have been hearing these. That we seek refuse in those little comforts, prepared to bear the ignominy that comes with it. That we “don victimhood and revel in it”.

    I was not sure, someone who advocated Ambedkar principles could do such a marvelous theorising of dalits problems-which actually seems breast-fed castehindu rhetoric. I thought you would help me understand your phrase properly, before I air my doubt. But I hope you can do that now, cant u ? Also some examples of how we “DON VICTIMHOOD AND REVEL IN IT” would help. Oh one clue, percentage of acquittal in POA cases.

  12. well! i first thought u had problems with my grammar or syntax! anyway, i would recommend reading the sentence as a concluding remark of the set of arguments that precede it. i was referring to the lament over the ‘unfortunate’ marriage between a brahmin woman and a dalit man, and the angst that it evokes! the angst over the supposed loss of the ‘torchbearers of buddhism and ambedkarism’!

    besides, i seriously fail to understand how can a brahmin woman ‘hook’ a dalit man into marriage, no matter what economic, political position he wields, given the fact that it is in the case of brahmin women that the rules of endogamy and exogamy become the most stringent!

  13. Note from the blogger:- The author’s name of this comment is withheld by me, to facilitate an impersonal discussion. I felt it was required cause it brought a different approach to the issue, and would encourage discussion if sanely pursued. I am sure, all we are looking for is robust arguments.
    -Blogger

    “The Loss of dalit grooms, its consequence and mirage of annihilation of caste” could be an appropriate title for this entire discussion.
    I was enlightened to read comments as this has educated me immensely and introduced me to a very important work suggested by Apocryphal. I would recommend this paper to be read by all irrespective of their caste, prejudices and gender.

    What I fail to understand here is, why don’t people accept this trends of well established( marginally to maximum successful )dalit men increasingly getting married to women other than the dalit castes and moreover to higher castes.

    Agreed, marriage is a very personal decision but the pattern or trends of marriages indicate the facts of society collectively and not is represented individually. Again if marriage is a personal decision how the children grow up eventually, their up bringing, their values and personal beliefs, the child’s socialization is it all personal then? Is the child born out of such marriages really free of “caste consciousness”?

    Secondly, if momentarily we agree to this “lop sided” marriages as good and ultimate way towards annihilation of caste, are we saying that the higher caste girls marrying white collar dalit men is a new phenomena , the new women torchbearers of Buddhism and Ambedkarism solely marrying dalit men for annihilation of caste, as thought by Ambedkar?

    The angst over these marriages goes beyond the mathematics of loss of groom and of being torchbearers of ambedkarism. what i dont understand is , Why are the brothers of such “kind brides” not marrying dalit women for a social change? Why is this ‘roti-beti’ one sided affair? If higher caste women are welcome in dalit family( leading to “nuclear ism”), why not higher caste families extend such hearty welcome to lower caste women as well? Now that would be an ideal situation. Here, again its unequal as usual and its such an immortal characteristics of manu driven Indian society.

    The central to this discussion are dalit women, men and their marriages and its not the other way around of making the higher caste women as the central point of this discussion. They are into picture and are looked as a ‘factor’ largely responsible for the ongoing crisis of “hi-jacking the dalit men”. I have consciously chosen that term.

    And these are the feelings of dalit women. They know more about the consequences and suffering than anyone else. The angst is not entirely for the loss of grooms, but for its consequence in family and community, its impact and ultimately who is benefiting and who is loosing out in this process? The arithmetics of such marriages becomes consequential for the community. The gross generalization speaks volumes for gross considerations as well.

    I was wondering when would such a day arrive that higher caste women are blaming and accusing dalit or lower caste women for hijacking their white collar, successful higher caste men for the same reasons , that would be the day to examine the torchbearers be it of Ambedkar, Buddhism or Manu and their angst for “redolence and reinstatement of caste”.We all know this would never happen but whats the harm in hoping.

    To conclude which might appear bitter in its form and somewhat dogmatic, I believe “dalit men that marry higher caste women should be banned from the community as their “talk ambedkarism – sleep brahminism” practice stinks of caste order and its restorations and their life time achievement of donning such dolls to feel caste-liberated sucks big time!!!

  14. The discussion has really helped me clear some of my doubts. Especially at a stage where I would be facing this situation in another few years. I totally agree with the view point that a intercaste marriage would give rise to a new sect away from any Dalit reformist issues. Also this problem needs to be addressed really fast as we loose more and more of the dalit educated youth to this nonsensical group.

  15. A very interesting and open discussion on such a lively topic indeed. I really
    enjoyed reading the comments.

    At the same time it prompted me to write what I feel about this issue.
    I think here we are talking about (1) conflict of individual and societal
    aspects of man-woman marriage, in general and (2) perceived effects of such marriages from
    Dalit/Ambedkarite society. As Viewer-1 correctly said “..the pattern or
    trends of marriages indicate the facts of society collectively and not is
    represented individually.”.. and that’s the reason we are discussing it here!

    There are a lot of individuals who would like to (try to) marry outside their
    caste,race,ethnicity for a varied reasons. Some of the reasons would be a sense
    of adventure, curiosity towards others, stiffness/rigidity of their society/
    community and bad experiences from it. Obviously there might be a sense of
    selfishness in choosing their marriage partner for e.g. salary,prestige,future
    prospects and perceived financial stability of their marriage and offsprings.
    For e.g. in case of higher caste women where high dowry is part of life, it
    might be a sense of frustration, helplessness of copying such demands on their
    families which turn them to look for other alternatives outside their caste or
    community. A lot of high caste communities are still involved in the dowry, no
    matter how educated they are. Another common reason might be a sheer joy of
    falling in love and getting married — isn’t this the same thing a main topic
    of most of the Hindi/Bollywood movies? Obviously none of these movies would
    like to handle issue of castes related to such portrait of love marriages.

    Similarly, we can come up with our own reasons for Dalit men who might have
    married someone other than Dalit women – Brahmin women, as stressed here again
    and again.

    But then the society (at all the caste levels) portraits such marriage as a
    collective loss for it. Some might call it a ‘sold off’ or for that matter,
    a rejection to the society or humiliation for them (Similar sentiments exist
    in the U.S. among Blacks). And whether it’s a marriage between
    high-caste-hindu-man-with-low-caste/Dalit-woman, or low-caste/Dalit-man
    marrying-high-caste-hindu-woman, both the sides would feel the ‘pain’. But each
    of them would feel that their pain is more than the others – a pychological
    subject as described in this New York Times article.

    And I feel that’s where our ’empirical evidence’ comes into picture. I might
    be wrong if I don’t get the urgency of this situation, but I think we should
    look at it in a more balanced perspective. Some might think this new wave of
    inter-caste marriages is another strategy of Brahminical forces. They might
    find examples of Dalit men married to high-caste women, who are praying to
    hindu daities and doing hindu rituals, then blame on the worthlessness of ‘our’
    men. But you might find examples of couples on the other side of fence where
    the high-caste woman married to Dalit man who can relate to Dalit moment, show
    real interest in the family and society per se.

    I would like to end my comments with a final point. I am seeing cases of
    such inter-caste marriages more and more, especially in urban settings. It’s
    not just high-caste-person marrying Dalit person, but there is all kind of
    combinations of castes and sometimes religions as well. At one side, it boils
    down to individual choices at the same time it can become a trend in current
    generations. And I don’t think only Dalits are feeling victimized about it.
    I guess the sense of victimization comes from high expectations of the society
    from such upwardly mobile men and women and those expectations not coming
    becoming reality. I feel that we should not spend umpteen hours in discussing
    who marries whom. But what matters most is whether that person can keep sense
    of Ambedkarite moment, learn something from the spouses experiences and
    acknowledge the past historical mistreatments to Dalits and make them part of
    common family legacy.

  16. Hi there,

    I have found your blog through technorati. I find this discussion useful and I dont think dalit grooms are going for higher caste brides. I do look at online profiles of higher caste people, however, for me, I completely prefer a dalit.Those who are reading my post, please try to start a blog with all the links that point towards fighting caste and freeing millions enslaved into so called caste system. Given a chance, most of the dalits would embrace christianity which leaves hindus to lose ground of what the very basis of their belief, vedas or whatever, most of them, the educated lot, now no they are nonsensical.
    In one of the articles from Dalit voice, there is quote from arun shourie in 1979 book,blockquote cite=”why these bunch of books are completely nonsensical”> why these bunch of books are completely nonsensical. Please check guys 🙂

    Well, let me tell you something different here…This from , which interviewed Kancha Illiah of ‘Why I am not a Hindu’, he goes on to say…

    and he goes on to say

    So, here it gives us the identity of who humans are really, Since there is still this casteism in christianity at that time, Ambedkar decided on buddhism, however,if we go into annals of buddhism, it turns out to be only meditation.. More from http://www.rzim.org.

    I respect people here, who are of different religions,am sure, dalits are not hindus and will never be part of that demonic black spirited oppression.

  17. Note from the blogger:- The author’s name of this comment is withheld by me, to facilitate an impersonal discussion. I felt it was required cause it brought a different approach to the issue, and would encourage discussion if sanely pursued. I am sure, all we are looking for is robust arguments.
    -Blogger

    I think Kancha Illiah (with all my due respect for him) has failed to understand Buddhism if he means Buddhism is only meditation. Yes elite Dalit(oops Buddhist) and many Mahar Buddhist have made it ritualistic,meditation oriented and the worst made an escape route for self indulgence and many a times to arrogantly exhibit superiority over non-practitioners of vippasana to be precise. Buddhism , as what i have understood is completely different and in true sense it is the most rational social philosophy that seeks out explanation for my dalit needs. None of the religions have been able to solve the complexities of my consciousness, of my existence as “dalit woman” except for Buddhism.
    So I might not agree with Illiah’s understanding.

  18. Note from the blogger:- The author’s name of this comment is withheld by me, to facilitate an impersonal discussion. I felt it was required cause it brought a different approach to the issue, and would encourage discussion if sanely pursued. I am sure, all we are looking for is robust arguments.
    -Blogger

    PS: I have not checked Mr Kancha’s view so I should have really checked up before I commented but I still believe Buddhism is not just meditation. I did go through the link CSM and it does not have any such reference made by Mr Kancha!

  19. For The morons who have written this artcle and the morons who have commented on this as if they are some deep intellectuals. You find similar morons like you in this site discussing about Ambedkar and his Brahmin Booty Wife.

    http://dalitnation.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/why-babasaheb-married-a-brahmin

    Your people will surely love this. And as birds of the same feather you can all flock together and discuss about intercaste marriage everlastingly. Morons.

  20. Data says that most of the Indian actress either in bollowood or in south filmindustry are from Brahmin community. At one end these brahmins pretends to orthodox religious and talk about there dignity culture and being vegiterian on the otherhand brahmin sends there daughter and sisters in the film Industry to earn money.

    I have example from Hema Malini, Rekha, shreedevi, madhuri dixit, mamta kulkarni, shilpa shirodkar, rani mukherjee, kajol, vidya balan etc etc in bollywood to the tv actress like shweta tiwari, to the south like bhanu priya in telgu, trisha krishnan in tamil film industry all are brahmin girls in the glam film industry.
    I guess every one is aware that like in hollywood, in bollywood also actress/heroin have
    to sleep with producers+directors+lead Actors/Heros to get the role..
    These brahmin actress are on sale of there sex openly to get even small role.they are ready to be slut to earn money and to gain supremacy.

    I dont understand what is this double standards in indian society..on one hand these brahmin atress/girl are just behaving/getting like slut to get even small role in movie on the other hand these brahmin girls of the same community pretends to be sati savitri and says about chit pavin brahminism..where we have lost chit pavin brahmin girls?..

    now a days as girls comes in college or in jobs they make boyfriends.All community girls keep boyfriends including brahmin girls to satisfy there lust and to get physical enjoyment before marriage.brahmin girls are fast in making boyfriends also from other community girls.they make boyfriends and have sex with them before marriage. brahmin girls go in live in relationship also but still people call them chit pavin brahmin to them,…what the hell are these double standards in india.

    So non brahmn guys dont think that brahmin girls are pure and good for marriage, today they to have become too sluty

  21. Read matrimony e.g. Marathi loksatta daily you will find adv. Groom needed or bride needed with note sc/st please excuse.I never come acros a note saying only sc/st needs apply.this shows sc/st are more progressive than other caste hindu.Ya it is true some bramhin women married to dalit coz they were attracted by ambedkarite thought and also they participated in movement.but this number is negligible compared to dalit men marrying bramhin women and alienating himself from his roots and tending to other side.Problem is that there is prejudice that bramhins are superior and rest are not and this is the feeling with bramhins impressed on them since childhood.

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