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Mizoram has the highest percentage of inter-caste marriages

Christian-dominated Mizoram has the most inter-caste marriages in India, a nation where 95 percent of Indians marry within their caste.

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An intercaste marriage in Mizoram. Image Source: northeasttoday.com
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Christian-dominated Mizoram – 87 percent of the population is Christian – has the most inter-caste marriages in India, a nation where 95 percent of Indians marry within their caste, according to a 2016 report from the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), a New Delhi-based think-tank.

Meghalaya and Sikkim followed Mizoram, with 46 percent and 38 percent of inter-caste marriages, according to The Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS-II), based on nationwide surveys conducted between 2011-12. It was put together by the University of Maryland and NCAER. A representative sample of 41,554 households contacted for the study was spread across 33 states and union territories, in rural and urban India.

The three north-eastern states were followed by Muslim-dominated Jammu and Kashmir (35 percent) and Gujarat (13 percent).

The data belies the perception that with modernity and economic progress, traditional barriers of caste have broken down.

The caste system is an ancient relic of a social hierarchy once based on division of labour. People are born into their caste. They cannot change it.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu to build safe houses for Inter Caste couples

How do people marry in the states of India?

As many as 95 percent women surveyed said their husbands’ caste was the same as their’s. This was the question NCAER used to determine the proportion of inter-caste marriages: “Is your husband’s family the same caste as your native family?”

In Madhya Pradesh, almost all (99 percent) people were married in their own caste, followed by Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, both at 98 percent.

Indians are legally allowed to marry outside their caste. A law on inter-caste marriage was passed more than 50 years ago, but those who do are still threatened or attacked, often by their own families.

Change is slow, but it is coming.

As many as 27 percent of respondents said they knew people in their communities who married outside their caste. In cities, this number was 36 percent.

A Hindu wedding in India. Wikimedia Commons
A Hindu marriage in India. Wikimedia Commons

The IHDS-II surveyors asked respondents: “Do you know anyone in your community who has had an inter-caste marriage?”

People are more forthcoming with perception of others than information about themselves, the researchers found.

“Think of a village pradhan (chief) whom everyone knows? there is only one pradhan in a village. Knowing someone, particularly someone who has engaged in ‘unusual’ behavior, like inter-caste marriage, is always going to be higher than one doing it oneself,” Sonalde Desai, a demographer, senior fellow at NCAER and professor of Sociology at University of Maryland, told IndiaSpend. “I am surprised that only one in four individuals knows someone (in an) inter-caste marriage.”(IANS)

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  • Pritam Go Green

    This is a big debate. Our society is not ready to accept different castes. Boast about Indian upper class all you want… But when it comes to this ..Believe me !!! U’ll have to face a hell lot of criticisms from your society and by your own family members.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    After 50 yrs of the passed verdict, we cannot say that change is slow. The government would have to inquire into the matter and find out ways to make people understand that life is way above the caste-system. I have been brought up in Haryana where people living in small villages kill their own children in the name of honour killings. Anyways, despite of living in this state for years, my family doesn’t support inter-caste marriage and not even arrange marriage so bringing a change in the society is not that difficult.

  • Pritam Go Green

    This is a big debate. Our society is not ready to accept different castes. Boast about Indian upper class all you want… But when it comes to this ..Believe me !!! U’ll have to face a hell lot of criticisms from your society and by your own family members.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    After 50 yrs of the passed verdict, we cannot say that change is slow. The government would have to inquire into the matter and find out ways to make people understand that life is way above the caste-system. I have been brought up in Haryana where people living in small villages kill their own children in the name of honour killings. Anyways, despite of living in this state for years, my family doesn’t support inter-caste marriage and not even arrange marriage so bringing a change in the society is not that difficult.

Next Story

Death Knell For The Rape Culture

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day

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Death knell for the rape culture
Death knell for the rape culture. Pixabay

By Salil Gewali

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day. Hearty thanks to the countless candle marchers. The credit also goes to those conscious media and columnists who all fueled the agitation and energized the activists. Here PM Modi’s dynamism can’t be overlooked either, because this ordinance, which was long overdue, has happened now.

Let’s all pray that the ‘fear of death’ will be an effective deterrent.  Hope, this will “frighten away” the real vices. In the meanwhile, it would also be very wise on the part of the government to look for other preventive measures since we have lot many “vices” in lot many avatars and assortments which only encourage the sex related crimes. There are also very dangerous “vices” which, when start to infect one’s thought-process, might give birth to the countless Trojan horses, Malwares, even virulent I-love-You. The virus infecting tragedy usually strikes ones very fast who are with weak inborn “antivirus”. This, in fact, turns “sane men into perverts” if one objectively analyses. But what is too bizarre is that some of such virus generating vices are let to flourish under the cover of silence while some are made to believe through media as “virtues” and while others as “talent” — with a whole lot of modish adornment and poetic adulation. Do you want to acknowledge that ones who cried hard against the despicable rape culture are the premier dealers of these vices? Some are producers too. I cut short here.  Because these days I fear the “thunder of hypocrisy” then the roars of the tiger in a jungle!

Candle March for death penalty of rapists.
Candle March. Pixabay

Yes, remaining complacent by mere hanging the perverts will be thus a downright immaturity. The identifying the causes of those vices that are hurting the society at large are equally important.  Of course, many try to overlook those vices as if they never make a bad impact upon the mindset an individual. Here I’ve an argument — has the heat of the hearth stopped boiling the water or burn your pack of currency notes to ash? As mentioned above, we can draw a perfect “analogy” between the virus infecting a computer leading to its inevitable “malfunction” with the people’s behavioral degeneration and wrong indulgences due to the continuous exposure and acceptance of vices.

Also Read: Rape Survivors in India Still Face Humiliation with Two-Finger tests and Barriers to Justice says Human Rights Watch

However, it would surely be good if the Government and awakened women organizations boldly pinpoint those forces as well which are culpable for presenting women as no less than commodities, and the dealers of the vices. In this, one is skeptical whether we can turn to the media with hope, or with doubt! Because, very absurdly, the definition of “good life” and its values have now been willfully distorted and redefined to suit the situation, plans and programs such that they would help further the agendas of that forces which rule the roost.

Stop the Terror of Rape.
Stop the Terror of Rape.

Anyway, whether one agrees or disagree, disinfecting/detoxing the “mindset” of the society is the only pathway to the sane society which we are now crying for. The healthy thought, healthy attitude, healthy acts can only toll the death knell for any kind of rapes or any kind of depravity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali