Brahmin groups ally to find UP brides for Karnataka boys

Brahmin groups ally to find UP brides for Karnataka boys

Two Brahmin organisations are coming together to find brides in Uttar Pradesh for boys in Karnataka.

A delegation from Kendriya Brahmana Mahasabha, Varanasi, is in town to discuss the modalities.

Vipra Paraspara Sahaya Samithi, based in Mysuru and led by educationist H V Rajeev, has launched the initiative, calling it Ganga Cauvery Sammilana.

"Social circumstances have changed so much that Brahmin boys find it difficult to find brides. Many are ageing as bachelors," he told DH.

Sammilana (confluence) is a step towards finding brides for them to help them fulfil their grihastashrama responsibilities, he said. Grihastasharama (householders' stage) refers to one of four life stages defined for Hindus.

"In Maharashtra, the Brahmin population is 11%. In Uttar Pradesh, its is 17%. But in Karnataka, it is a minuscule 2%," he said, explaining the rationale for looking northwards for numbers.

The advent of the software sector, with its high salaries and affluent lifestyle, has added a curious dimension to the problem.

"Among available brides, most prefer boys from the IT sector. Brahmin grooms from other sectors, even if well-off, find it difficult to marry," he said.
Who needs help?

Brahmins are open-minded and in most cases, don't object to love marriages, Rajeev said.

"Some girls marry within the Brahmin sub-sects, while others marry non-Brahmins. Boys waiting for brides acceptable to everyone in the family end up waiting for ever. This is a step to help them," he said.

Rajeev initiated the alliance by visiting Varanasi and meeting community organisations.

Kamalkanth Upadhyay, senior vice-president of the Mahasabha, urged the youth to go in for dowry-free and simple marriages.

Sammilana registers grooms and brides, and encourages them to interact. Once the introductions are done, families can take the proposals forward, Rajeev said.

'Kashi yatre' refreshed

A Brahmin wedding ritual involves the bride's father stopping the groom from proceeding to Kashi.

The idea is that the groom is still attached to brahmacharya, or the station of life dedicated to learning, and is thus reluctant to marry. The boy is then persuaded to marry his bride.

"Things have changed. We now plan to go on a Kashi yatre to get our boys married," said H V Rajeev, the guiding spirit behind the north-south matrimonial initiative.

Why Uttar Pradesh?

The Brahmin population in that state is 17%, as against 2% in Karnataka. Brides are greater in number there.

Why no brides?
* Little opposition to Brahmin girls marrying out of caste.
* Girls in the community prefer grooms from IT sector.
* Circumstances forcing traditional boys to remain single.

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