New Delhi, Sept 21: A study conducted by three academicians of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) finds Brahmins to have the highest rate of inter-caste marriages, as compared to other caste groups. The research paper also finds the rural populace to be more open to exogamy, as compared to their urban counterparts. Also Read - Here are 5 benefits of an inter-caste marriage
The study, undertaken by Tridip Ray, Arka Roy Chaudhuri, and Komal Sahai, also explores the link between endogamy and lack of education. On the contrary, the trio found that higher the education among the men, greater would be the resiliency towards inter-caste marriages. Also Read - Brahmins facing discrimination in BJP ruled Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand: BSP chief Mayawati
However, an interesting observation made in their discussion paper is that men remain more open to exogamy if their mothers are highly educated. “Our study conclusively proves that a 10-year increase in the education of husband’s mother would translate to an increase in the probability of inter-caste marriage by 1.86 percentage points,” Chaudhari, one of the researchers, said while speaking to News 18. Also Read - Incentive for inter-caste marriage increased: Haryana government
Acceptability of inter-caste marriages among different caste groups
The research work succeeds in breaking a number of myths, including the consideration of Brahmins – at the top of social hierarchy – as the worst practitioners of casteism. After analysing the data provided by Indian Human Development Survey and National Sample Survey (2011-12), the researchers found 6.3 per cent of Brahmins tying the knot with spouses of other castes.
Brahmins are closely followed by the Other Forward Castes. The rate of inter-caste marriage among OFCs was found to be 6.2 per cent. Exogamy within this group, however, mainly pertains to marriages with the sub-castes among the OFCs.
As the social hierarchy moves downwards, the rate of exogamy dwindles, with 4.8% among the Other Backward Classes (OBC) found with spouses of other castes.
Among the Scheduled Castes (SC), only 4.7 per cent have married outside their caste.
Rural populace more open to inter-caste marriage
The survey finds the rate of inter-caste marriage higher in rural areas, as compared to the urban. Similar to education, the urban locality also fails to turn individuals open to marrying outside their castes, the study notes.
The metropolitan cities were found to fare the worst in terms of exogamy, with an abysmal rate of only 3.84 inter-caste marriages. The rate of inter-caste marriages at pan-India level, as per the data surveyed from 2011, stands at 5.82 per cent.
Inter-caste marriages not necessarily love marriages
Contrary to the popular perception, most inter-caste marriages are not linked to love affairs between the couples.
Over 60 per cent of the inter-caste marriages were arranged by the parents or kin of the spouses, and 66% among the brides met their groom on the day of wedding.