Sunday, December 20, 2009

Arranged Marriage, Part Three

If you're just joining us, this is the third installment of a four- or five-part series on arranged marriage that is the result of an e-mail correspondence with a reader, Barani. Here is part one and part two.

Today, we'll learn about caste, diet and religion. Again, the text in italics has only been edited for clarity.

Next we move onto the caste taboos:
There are thousands of castes, and the upper castes tend to be vegetarian.
Virtually no caste that is vegetarian is lower caste.
In my caste, they will accept love marriages with any vegetarian caste (which is also forward caste).
One of my cousins married a Gujurati Patel (vegetarian) as love marriage with family support.

Familial opposition will be severe if the other party is non-vegetarian (can be assuaged if the other party agrees to become vegetarian).

So the first fault line is diet.
The second fault line is religion.
The line is between Indian origin religion and foreign origin religion (can be assuaged if the other party agrees to become an Indian religionist).

Diet actually goes like this:
Vegetarian = 95% probability of being upper caste
Non-Vegetarian = 75% probability of being lower caste
The other 25% Non-vegetarian upper castes are soldier castes who have to be used to bloodshed and the soldier castes also do animal (goat) sacrifices to get used to blood.
Often people to find out if a person is low caste, ask whether he is vegetarian.
Crudely - Vegetarian = Upper caste
Goat, Chicken, fish eater = low caste
Beef and Pork eater = Dalit (untouchable)

So there is a 3-way segmentation based on diet.

Marriages are fairly common between Hindus and Sikhs, Hindus and Jains and Hindus and Buddhists.
Often within the same family you may have 2-3 Indian religions.

In the birds and bees conversation in India, every teenager learns - you will be dead meat if you bring home a non-vegetarian or a non-Indian religionist.
In Punjab, 10% of all murders are done if a hindu or sikh (Indian religion) marries a muslim or a xtian* (foreign religion).

*Editor’s note: “xtian” denotes Christian.


  1. Barani here,

    Indian religions function more on actions than on faith, unlike Abrahamic religions which give more weightage to faith than actions

    So while Indian religions have different belief systems, their action systems are identical, which is why inter-marriage is not a problem within Indian religions

  2. Barani here again,

    Almost every religion in India has a mafia
    that will attack if one of their women marries a man from another religion

    Often, if a daughter elopes, the parent will hire a mafia from his religion to disrupt the marriage

    There are muslim mafias, sikh mafias, hindu mafias and christian mafias

    In India inter-religious marriages are mostly a vicious game of each religion to increase their numbers

    At the time of marriage, the priest or pastor or mullah will ask the other party to convert and it is often a matter of which religion blinks first

    In most cases, only those with a mafia / goon-squad behind them will even attempt inter-religious marriages

  3. Barani here again
    In Coimbatore, in 1997, Al-Ummma, the local branch of Al-Qauida, murdered a dozen Hindu men, who had married muslim women and they got away due to political patronage

  4. Barani,

    While veg/non-veg rule is a good generalization, it breaks down in the extreme north and extreme south (Kashmir and TN), Konkan coast and in the East/North East.

    Kashmiri Brahmins are heavy meat eaters. Bengali & Saraswat Brahmins eat fish. TN left forward castes (check Brenda Beck's work on left & right castes) are all meat eaters (some even eat beef).

    Based on your rough generalizations I'd have to assume you are a city slicker or haven't traveled the length and breadth of India.

  5. Barani,

    You make it sound like an organized mafia rather than an extended cousins association which it really is. Not that these goons are any less violent at times though.

  6. Barani here again
    I am using generalizations, since to go into detail will go into thousands of pages for all the exceptions

    Tamil Brahmins consider Kashmiri, Bengali and Konkan brahmins as lower caste within the brahmins due to non-vegetarian diet

    The mafia is preferably extended cousins
    but external goons will also be hired as needed

    You are of course familiar with
    Babu Bajrangi, who has 'rescued' over 1000 Hindu women who eloped out of religion in Gujurat

  7. Barani here again

    Indian Journal of Community Medicine

    Consanguinity in South India

    Hindus ( Non-brahmin ), first cross-cousin = 25% of all marriages
    Hindus ( Non-brahmin ), Uncle-niece = 10% of all marriages
    Muslims, direct first cousin = 40%

    For South Indian Brahmins,
    the uncle-niece would be about 1% and first cross-cousin would be about 7%

    ans 0% for North Indian Hindus

    And thanks to medical propoganda, these numbers are coming down

    However, I do know some years back, a Telegu
    uncle-niece NRI couple, who were married in India and lated immigrated to USA, were arrested in the USA for incest and their kids taken away

    I would expect that about 5% of NRI South Indian Non-Brahmins are uncle-niece couples, married in India, but they keep silent for fear of being arrested in the USA

  8. Barani here again,
    Matrimonial ads are a far better way of getting married than marrying your cousin or your niece, as done by a sizable minority in South India


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