India marriage markets in everything

by on December 7, 2017 at 1:53 am in Current Affairs, Economics, Law, Religion | Permalink

India’s government has expanded a scheme offering payment incentives to Hindus who marry members of the country’s poorest and most oppressed caste, the Dalits.

A scheme introduced in 2013 offered 250,000 rupees (£2,900) to encourage Hindus from higher castes to marry members of the “untouchable” community, in the hope that it would help to remove the stigma of intercaste marriage and foster greater social cohesion.

To qualify, the annual income of the spouse from the high caste had to be less than 500,000 rupees (‎£5,800).

The government envisaged about 500 such marriages annually, but less than 100 have taken place each year.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced it would scrap the income ceiling, and said all couples in which one spouse is from the Dalit caste would receive the cash incentive.

Here is the article, via Eric D., also read the last few paragraphs.

1 Axa December 7, 2017 at 3:04 am

They can also solve the problem by giving high caste certificate to anyone asking for it.

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2 So Much For Subtlety December 7, 2017 at 6:04 am

The Spanish colonial government used to sell certificates of Whiteness in Latin America. Given that being White used to carry a variety of benefits – being allowed to own and ride a horse in the early days of colonial rule for instance – it was worth buying one. Although pretty much by definition anyone who bought one was almost certainly not White. Just as the fact that Alexander the Great’s grandfather, or great-grandfather had to pay for someone to prove that they were Greeks which means they weren’t Greek.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced it would scrap the income ceiling, and said all couples in which one spouse is from the Dalit caste would receive the cash incentive.

So another electoral slush fund for a semi-reliable vote bank then. Not an improvement. While I disagree with our resident Hindu nationalists about a lot of things, I agree with them that leaving well alone will result in the end of the caste system. Some Dalits will rise to great wealth, some Brahmins will fall into poverty. In the end money counts for more than birth. Free enterprise is the only truly revolutionary political system. But I do think it means the end of Hinduism.

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3 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 7:57 am

“some Brahmins will fall into poverty”

While I agree that there aren’t that many very wealthy Dalits (which is a source of concern for me), your vision of Brahmins in poverty has been a reality in Indian life for millennia.

The Brahmins in the north Indian plain are dirt poor, with per-capita incomes that are a fraction of the African American per-capita incomes in US. As per a 2007 study, a majority of Brahmins in the country earned less than $100 a month. While that is still higher than the per-capita income of the country as a whole, it is still very poor by global standards.

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4 Viking December 7, 2017 at 11:43 am

I like your name (nome de plume?), thumbs up to whom can say it right on first try!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mister_Mxyzptlk

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5 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 12:12 pm

It is a straightforward Indo-European name. In Sanskrit it means, possessor (kanth) of wealth (shri).

Definitely easier on the tongue than many Viking names.

6 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 12:22 pm

The readers of this blog, being largely Indo European speaking whites, must find it a lot easier to pronounce my name than their own names which are NOT Indo European but usually Semitic.

My name is closer to your language than names like John, Joseph, Tony – which are all of semitic middle eastern origin. My name in contrast has Indo European roots.

7 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 11:33 am

“I do think it means the end of Hinduism.”

haha. Hinduism is in fact very much aligned with free market doctrine. As it accepts the fact that all men are not equal. And is comfortable with challenging the idea of equality. It is Christianity and Islam that have a problem with the free market because they cannot in good conscience accept the inequalities thrown up by nature, nurture and the free market.

In Hinduism, new castes replace the old. New occupations replace the old. And society remains stable, peaceful and inevitably with some hierarchy. The world isn’t perfect. And Hinduism accepts imperfection. And inequality.

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8 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 12:01 pm

“It is Christianity and Islam that have a problem with the free market because they cannot in good conscience accept the inequalities thrown up by nature, nurture and the free market.”

Yep, the free market… It is all what caste-based civilizations are about…

“And Hinduism accepts imperfection. And inequality.”
Which is a much easier task for those at the top of the pyramid. I am pretty sure Stalin did not have problems to accept no everyone could throw big oarties while Ukranians were starving, either. Birds of a feather…

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9 rec1man December 7, 2017 at 10:22 am

To the contrary, higher castes try to get low caste certificates to take advantage of 50% quota for lower castes

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10 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

Hahahaha…

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11 tjamesjones December 7, 2017 at 4:03 am

but what about that bloke here who’s always telling us the caste system doesn’t exist, or isn’t really a bad thing or whatever.

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12 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 8:09 am

Guess you are referring to me. I never said that.

It exists. But it isn’t a system. It is a bunch of many local “systems”. Traditional 2000 year old texts are of little use to understand the caste system as it exists today.

Is the caste system (or systems) a bad thing? Yes and No. It is the fundamental source of stability in Indian society. While I do not oppose caste system, ,I do oppose caste oppression and discrimination by the state. There is a big difference there. The biggest impediment that is hurting Dalits today is the “Dalit” tag, which is not a traditional word. It is a word popularized by the savior of Dalits – Ambedkar. In Sanskrit, the word means “oppressed”.

Tell me, how can you ever get out of the rut, if you designate yourself as “oppressed”? It is bloody hard. The Dalits are not a homogenous group. They comprise of hundreds of castes, at different levels of development. Atleast some of those castes would’ve figured a way to move up the ladder and become socially influential. But they haven’t because the “dalit” tag (which is a modern tag placed on them), is an impediment. It maims you psychologically. And that’s a sad consequence of the “lists” of scheduled castes created during the British Raj.

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13 Black dalit December 7, 2017 at 3:18 pm

“While I do not oppose caste system, ,I do oppose caste oppression and discrimination by the state…”

So you’re saying you don’t oppose thousands of years of religiously sanctioned societal discrimination, but do oppose 70 years of affirmative action policies in the Indian republic because they are “discrimination by the state.” Shows what you really care about I guess.

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14 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 5:03 pm

You have comprehension issues. I explicitly said I oppose caste oppression. Not just by the state. But by anyone

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15 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 4:12 am

Decades after its independence, when a far-sighted Brazilian ambassador warned the world India was not ready for anything resembling self-rule, the Indian regime still strugles with the fruits of demon-worshipping and tyranny.

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16 blah December 7, 2017 at 6:03 am

Who is your demon? Shiva? Kali?

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17 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 6:07 am

Those are demons, of course, or, rather, those are the names they took to control the superstitious masses of India.

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18 blah December 7, 2017 at 7:20 am

Thanks for being candid, at least those of the readers here who can see that making analogous comments about other religions is bigotry, will get to see an illustration of how eurocentrists think of Hindus as second class citizens.

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19 dearieme December 7, 2017 at 7:31 am

No, I think his point is that Hinduism is a second class religion. It’s not a view I share, but at least I refrain from misrepresenting his view.

Being Brazilian, the religion he follows is likeliest to be Roman Catholicism, a strange blend of Christianity with superstition, the worship of a neolithic fertility goddess, and simple idolatrous paganism. It’s not much of a basis, in my view, for scorning Hinduism. Hindus used to burn widows, and Roman Catholics used to burn heretics and witches, so there’s something else they have in common, albeit only approximately.

20 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 7:34 am

“Hinduism used to burn widows”

That’s a lie. Widow immolation was a voluntary act undertaken by a small minority of devoted wives in some part of the country. Hardly a universal Hindu norm.

21 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 7:37 am

At the height of its practice in early 19th century, when it boomed, there were at most 600 cases of mostly voluntary acts in a country of 200MM+ people.

22 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 7:37 am

That’s a yearly number

23 blah December 7, 2017 at 8:15 am

@dearieme: You are wrong, now you are misrepresenting *my* view. I wasn’t attacking “A Truth Seeker” for dissing Hinduism (to repeat, he was not my target at all), but the general eurocentric readership that considers as acceptable and politically correct a language of attacking Hinduism that wouldn’t be so deemed with regard to other religions.

Remember Thiago Ribeiro’s comments, or this guy’s, that India was never fit for self-governance? This is what I mean by a “second class citizen” treatment: “We will evolve and follow social norms that will give wider acceptance to humiliation of your cultural identity, and there is nothing you can do about it”.

24 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 8:57 am

As opposed to Muslims, who are criticized for the crimes of terrorists? Or Jews, who are criticized for everthing Israel does? Or atheists (OK, not a religion), who have popularity rivaling pedophiles in America? I have heard Unitaritss being called members from the sect of the Antichrist. Do you remember all people talking about Romney not being a real Christian because Mormons do not think Christ is God. Sorry, but I won’t engage in the soft bigotry of low expectations. If Hindus want to be treated like rational humans, they must play the part instead of worshipping cows and demons.

25 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

“We will evolve and follow social norms that will give wider acceptance to humiliation of your cultural identity, and there is nothing you can do about it”

You can ask the cows to punish your enemies. Or tou can create a decent narion. Whatever floats your boat.

26 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 9:04 am

“Being Brazilian, the religion he follows is likeliest to be Roman Catholicism, a strange blend of Christianity with superstition, the worship of a neolithic fertility goddess, and simple idolatrous paganism.”

I follow the teachings of Prophet Bandarra. He corrected the doctrine mistakes of the Catholic Church.

Also, Brazil is going through a Protestant Reform. Catholics will become a minority very soon. Since we are not Indians, we can live with diversity pretty well, it makes us stronger.

27 JWatts December 7, 2017 at 9:22 am

“Remember Thiago Ribeiro’s comments, or this guy’s, ”

A Truth Seeker is Thiago Ribeiro’s new handle. And yes he’s an obvious bigot and racist. He hates Japanese & Indians and says so repeatedly.

28 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 9:45 am

“And yes he’s an obvious bigot and racist. He hates Japanese & Indians and says so repeatedly.”

Of course, and the Allies bombed Dresden because they were racists against Germans. Nothing else was going on at all. Meanwhile, America supports Japanese and Indian fascists the way she support the Mujahideen. It worked so well…

29 blah December 7, 2017 at 10:19 am

@JWatts. Thanks, I hadn’t noticed that before.

30 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 11:41 am

“I follow the teachings of Prophet Bandarra”

I don’t know him. But he clearly hasn’t done a good job if you follow him. Before you pontificate on religion, first learn some basic etiquette from Emily Post

31 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 11:46 am

https://www.google.com.br/search?num=40&client=tablet-android-samsung&ei=u28pWtLbFZOswgTjnbbIBg&q=bandarra&oq=bandarra&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3..0i67k1j0l4.8670.9526.0.10219.9.3.0.0.0.0.277.504.2-2.2.0….0…1c.1.64.mobile-gws-serp..7.2.502…35i39k1j0i19k1.189.c84F9oOU964#imgrc=diZ9dn0BsOnHuM:

Prophet Bandarra was a Portuguese (maybe from Jewish stock) whomwas persecuted by the Inquisition and predicted the rise and glory of Brazil. He inspired famous Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa’s book Message, which is about the future Fourth Empire, a Portuguese-speaking Empire led Brazil that will control all the world.

32 chuck martel December 7, 2017 at 6:27 am

Too bad a similar policy wasn’t initiated in the US in 1866.

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33 clockwork_prior December 7, 2017 at 6:41 am

Don’t worry, in many parts of the U.S., first they would have repealed these laws – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-miscegenation_laws_in_the_United_States

As it is, such laws were only dismissed by judicial fiat – or would that be judicial tyranny? After all, a Commonwealth of Virginia judge that said it was perfectly legal to jail a married couple based on their racial classification as written on their birth certificates used religion to buttress his decision, until an apparently godless Supreme Court decided that the law of the land was higher than god’s law, as had been used by Judge Bazile – ‘God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

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34 John December 7, 2017 at 6:49 am

Interesting that a legislature is trying to encourage activity to reduce wealth inequality by marriage law.

In the west, lawyers actively discourage anyone entering into marriage with someone less well off. This is by putting them at risk of severe financial punishment if the marriage fails, thereby supporting wealth inequality.

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35 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 6:57 am

Inter-caste marriages are likeliest to happen among deracinated very high income groups, and least likely to happen among low income groups.

This is a stupid scheme that attempts to solve a complex social problem (which is not even viewed as a problem by millions) with money. But Indian culture is strongly anti-materialist, and has its mechanisms to stigmatize people who are willing to break family traditions for Rs.250,000.

Put yourself in the shoes of a Dalit woman. She has two candidates to choose. A man from her own community. Another from an unfamiliar group, who is willing to marry her for a pittance of Rs 250,000 ($4000 in market rates or $15K in PPP terms). What does that tell you about the character of the latter person? Today he marries you for a pittance. Tomorrow he may ditch you a similar amount. A man who wants to be a beneficiary of this scheme is obviously a man who you wouldn’t like to trust with your life. This is common sense.

Self respecting Dalits can see through that. And they prefer honor and stability over gold-digging (in this case pittance seeking) wastrels, albeit from a higher caste.

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36 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 7:03 am

But yes, economists like Tyler Cowen wouldn’t understand the above comment. As virtue is not a word in the dictionary of economists. In the eyes of an economist, a work of erotica is equivalent to a work by Schopenhauer if they cost the same amount.

But sorry. Indians place a far greater weight over virtue than wealth or comfort. That includes Dalits. And they have the horse sense to know that this scheme is designed to attract the morally infirm.

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37 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 9:07 am

“Indians place a far greater weight over virtue than wealth or comfort.”

No. The tyrants who control the country place a far greater weight over their signaling virtue (i.e. worshipping cows, demons, performing bizarre satanical rituals) over the confort (and health and nutrition and education and everything else) of their toiling subjects. It is pretty cheap virtue, which stereotypical economists would say it is the best kind of viertue – no inflationary threats.

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38 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

First of all, Indians DO NOT worship cows.

But we regard the cow as an animal to which we owe something. It is an animal which gives us milk, just as our mothers do when we are young. So atleast in one respect it is equivalent to our moms.

The Indo Aryan people, who place a great weight on gratitude and good will, do grasp this, and have a great deal of attachment to this very very special animal, which has shaped Indo Aryan civilization for the past 3000 years.

This great animal has also contributed a lot to other civilizations. But those civilizations are typically ungrateful.

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39 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 11:00 am

“bizarre satanical rituals”

The essence of religion is ritual, self denial, regimen. That’s what makes a religion a religion.

Religion is not about merely swearing by a book. Religion is about practice. Doing things that you don’t want to do. Self discipline. Self restraint.

That’s what ritual teaches you.

If you merely want to do what the senses impel you to do , you are little better than an imbecile animal!!

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40 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 11:12 am

I see, ANY ritual will do. Who cares? A ritual is a ritual is a ritual. Who cares about Civilization, which Westerners introduced in India? Who cares about the Golden Rule? Any ritual will do. There is no moral difference between worshipping the real God, who created the World and Man, and worshipping cows and devils. It is all equally noble “self-denying”. Well, I guess some Indians have had lots of denial, I just would not call it “self”. They are slaves of Satan and its priests and princes, who rule over them and explore them.

41 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

Golden Rule is EXPLICITLY laid out in many Indian scriptures. The Shanti Parva in Mahabharata has the Golden rule in exactly the same terms as in the Bible.

But Hinduism unlike modern Christianity, doesn’t stop at the Golden rule. If you go back to the early Church fathers like St Augustine, they didn’t stop at the Golden rule.

The Golden rule is merely Step 1 in religion. Religion is a LOT more than Golden rule. At the end of the day, Religion is man’s attempt to become God. To overcomem human failings and seek unity with the divine. That comes with PRACTICE. Sadhana in Indian lingo.

42 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 11:56 am

“At the end of the day, Religion is man’s attempt to become God. To overcomem human failings and seek unity with the divine.”

No, it is not. It is Gnosticism, Satan’s tailor-made religion. “Ye shall be as God”, promissed Satan to Adam and Eve, the first humans, who he deceived. Also, how could man attempt to become God when “it doesn’t matter which God you believe in, which book you swear by, or whether you are even an atheist.” Satan is a liar, so confusion is his language.

“If you go back to the early Church fathers like St Augustine, they didn’t stop at the Golden rule.”

They certainly did not worship demons… or cows. They believed and served the one true God.

“This great animal has also contributed a lot to other civilizations. But those civilizations are typically ungrateful.”

Ha, ha, ha, ha.

43 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

“Also, how could man attempt to become God when “it doesn’t matter which God you believe in”

I was talking about anthropomorphic deities. God is one. All Hindu schools agree on that. In fact there is not a single polytheistic Hindu school. God is always one.

THe point of dispute within Hindusm is on the relationship between the universal soul and the individual soul. Are they distinct or one? That’s the crux of most debates within Hinduism.

But I guess this is too high falutin for you.

You do need basic lessons in good manners and etiquette first. Some of us learn it naturally at a young age thanks to the fortune of having good parents. Some need classes. Do enroll

44 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Again, “it doesn’t matter which God you believe in, which book you swear by, or whether you are even an atheist.”

“In fact there is not a single polytheistic Hindu school.”
Ha ha ha.

“THe point of dispute within Hindusm is on the relationship between the universal soul and the individual soul. Are they distinct or one? That’s the crux of most debates within Hinduism.”
I have heard people have such discussions at lunatic bins.

“You do need basic lessons in good manners and etiquette first. Some of us learn it naturally at a young age thanks to the fortune of having good parents. Some need classes. Do enroll.”

I will not adhere to the soft bigotry of low expectations. There are no biological reason Hindus should not expect to behave as civilized people do.

45 Will December 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm

“Doing things that you don’t want to do. Self discipline. Self restraint.”

Those things are possible without religion, so no, they aren’t what it’s about.

46 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm

No. They are not sustainable without religion.

47 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm

“They are not sustainable without religion.”

ANY religion. Who cares if it is bizarre demon/cow worshipping. Any religion, even false and satanical, will do… Who cares about the Truth? Any religion will do (as long as it justifies oppressing one’s brothers and sisters and satanical rituals).

48 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 11:04 am

The western conception of religion is “belief”. Who is God? Who created us? Where are we headed? And all that.

The Hindu conception of religion is “practice”. It doesn’t matter which God you believe in, which book you swear by, or whether you are even an atheist. You are not a good Hindu UNLESS you practice. Doing things you don’t want to do – that’s what uplifts man.

Everyone likes candies. But can you eat tasteless, nauseating stuff? That takes moral development of the soul.
Everyone likes sex. But can you practice physical and mental abstinence for say a month? That takes effort.

Hinduism is all about practicing towards soul upliftment.

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49 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 11:15 am

“The Hindu conception of religion is “practice”. It doesn’t matter which God you believe in, which book you swear by, or whether you are even an atheist.”

Yep, who cares about the Truth? Maybe God exists, maybe He doesn’t. Who cares? It is all the same… Maybe cows must be worshipped, maybe they do not. Who cares? It uplifts the soul… It is all about practice. You should try to bang your head on the wall – if you don’t already do that -, it is a practice, too.

50 blah December 7, 2017 at 7:17 am

At least in my (very urban, admittedly) setting here in India, as also when I was bank in the US, a good chunk of the people I know have gone for inter-caste marriage, often someone with a different mother tongue. These may well be a majority of the Indians I know.

But of all this is assortative mating – marrying people they know from their work place, university etc. Which is why the proportion of dalits who marry across caste is relatively lower than that of more upwardly mobile castes. I don’t know how many of these people avail of the Government’s scheme though.

And 250,000 is not a pittance in India at all, it is higher than the per capita (annual) income, which is really enormous for those below the poverty line!

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51 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 7:23 am

Sure, but as a one-time payment it is a pittance.

But the Indian poor don’t use an exclusively economic lens. This scheme is designed to attract men of a materialist bent, and that’s not what you look for in a life partner. In India, marriages are meant to last for life. Unlike in US, where people hypocritically marry in a church and talk grand things like “for better or worse, for richer or poorer” only to divorce after a few years. I think close to half the marriages in US end in divorce? Not sure about the number.

Ofcourse inter-caste marriages are quite common in Urban India. But those are mostly marriages between different upper / middle castes. Dalit-non dalit marriages are still quite rare.

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52 blah December 7, 2017 at 8:18 am

May be in your community Shrikanth. At least in my (non-brahmin) community about the first question they ask is salary. At least one brahmin friend – rather his mother, who was looking for alliances for her son – told me that this was the case in her community too.

BTW I don’t know if you will be surprised or not – there is a lot of intercaste marriage among RSS folks.

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53 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 8:22 am

Salary is a different matter.

Who wouldn’t want to marry a man with a handsome salary? But would you give your daughter to a man who is willing to marry you for a handout of $15K? That’s a different matter. Character matters a great deal to the Indian psyche.

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54 blah December 7, 2017 at 8:53 am

I won’t. And I have a hard time imagining the mentality of those who would choose life-partner based on one-time government dole. At the same time, one at least knows that there exist members of a certain non-demonic religion in India whose adherents sell their underage daughters to Arabs for somewhat comparable amounts: https://www.thequint.com/news/india/aged-arab-sheikhs-caught-to-buying-child-brides-in-hyderabad

55 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 8:24 am

Salary by itself doesn’t mean much.

It’s about how you earn your money.

A man who earns Rs 10 lacs working 50 hours a week in an office is deemed superior to a man who earns Rs 20 lacs sitting at home, trading stocks.

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56 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 9:10 am

“break family traditions”
Now we know how to say “states’ rights” in Hindi!
“And they prefer honor and stability”
And now we know how to say “I am not a racist, but…”

Americans and their heathen puppets deserve one another.

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57 shrikanthk December 7, 2017 at 11:36 am

You should enroll for an English class. Unlearn Portugese and learn some English.

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58 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 11:42 am

I could let the English people colonize my country and benefit me, then rebel against my benefactors and, for the sole benefit of my ego, allow millions of my brothers suffer misery and ignorance as my country is mismanaged by furious, savage Hindus.

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59 JWatts December 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm

More racist rhetoric from Mr. Pravada his self.

60 A Truth Seeker December 7, 2017 at 3:02 pm

It is not racism. I just oppose savage regimes. Interestingly the anti-Western rhetoric of your heathen puppet is not “racist”. After all, civilized people must be happy being targets of abuse from the savages. Right… right?

61 Beliavsky December 7, 2017 at 7:46 am

The government should not bribe people to marry one person over another.

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62 Shazam December 7, 2017 at 9:16 am

They shouldn’t force you to buy health insurance you don’t want, either, but they sure do funny things don’t they?

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63 rayward December 7, 2017 at 7:49 am

My understanding is that Trump has indicated a willingness to raise the corporate tax rate slightly above the 20% rate he had demanded in order to accommodate the proposal by Senators Rubio and Lee to extend the expanded child tax credit to poor people. My understanding is that the Senate rejected the proposal by Rubio and Lee because the majority in the Senate didn’t want to encourage poor people to have more children who might become a burden on society. Should tax credits (which are essentially a cash payment from the government) be used as a way to encourage child bearing or marriage or any other social objectives that not everyone agrees with?

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64 collin December 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

A scheme introduced in 2013 offered 250,000 rupees (£2,900) to encourage Hindus from higher castes to marry members of the “untouchable” community, in the hope that it would help to remove the stigma of intercaste marriage and foster greater social cohesion.
To qualify, the annual income of the spouse from the high caste had to be less than 500,000 rupees (‎£5,800).
The government envisaged about 500 such marriages annually, but less than 100 have taken place each year.

In terms of marriage ‘markets’ and parenthood, it is wisest to remember that the government is bad at a lot of things but they are worst at being cupid. They have 100 marriages take place? This program is even more worthless than Obama helping homeowners underwater. Also, That is the big problem with child tax credits that Republicans are throwing around while taking out the home interest deductions.

Also, why are so many libertarian economist so bothered by assortative marrying by the population? Most of history has had a version of assortative marrying and the reality is most developed nations are returning to that reality with later marriages.

And the era of the least assortative marriages of (developed world 1960ish – 1975ish) you notice the divorce rates hits their highpoints in 1975 – 1985. Doesn’t sound like a success to me.

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65 YSK December 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

Why does the western media call dalits as untouchables? They are quite touchable. The equivalent usage for India media would be to use the N word to refer to African Americans.

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66 ohmy December 7, 2017 at 10:49 am

I touched one at work just last week. I have a meeting with HR this afternoon.

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67 blah December 7, 2017 at 11:18 am

They aren’t exactly equivalent because “untouchable” gives you victim status while the N word is a pejorative. That said, this doesn’t excuse the western media at all – a host of usages such as “untouchable”, “Hindu nationalist” etc. are factually wrong and should be culled.

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68 Raj Patel December 7, 2017 at 11:43 am

I’m not sure why they asked the PhD student about his intuitions on the case when he hadn’t even heard of the project, or why we should take John Dayal’s claim that this is not ‘rooted in economics’ to be relevant at all. Whether or not this is rooted in economics or not is irrelevant because the real question is whether some people can be induced to change their behaviour by shifting the monetary costs/benefits associated with the practice. That’s an empirical question. And it seems like it has been a bit successful, though Guardian’s unhelpful reporting (less than 100 cases) doesn’t quite tell us how successful.

At any rate, probably what’s going on here is something similar to inter/intra religion marriages. There are strong norms amongst (obviously Hindu, but also Muslim, Sikh, etc., religions, that one ought to marry within their religion. What governs this is a set of social norms where the relevant reference group (for Hindus, other caste members, for Muslims/Sikhs, people of the same faith generally) have strong expectations about what you ought to do. You run into all sorts of problems when there is a generational gap in the relevant reference group, and we see this kind of thing in multicultural liberal societies that have multiple generations of the same family. So the parent’s reference group is some village/town/whatever in India or Pakistan, and their children’s (specifically women/girls) reference group is, say, other people from Northern England. By run in the problems I mean women usually get killed, aka honour killings.

Shifting those kind of expectations probably requires more than just money. It means changing a lot of expectations at the same time. That’s not so easy. On the other hand it’s clear that the Indian government thinks that inducing some people to change the practice will lead to knock on effects. I’m skeptical that people who will be induced to change their behaviour through monetary incentives will be influential in the networks of expectations that form the core of the practice. If that’s true, expanding the program is a waste of money. But that’s just my intuition. We’ll see what happens.

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69 Jay December 7, 2017 at 3:10 pm

How does this remove the stigma, isn’t it the opposite, it codifies it? The stigma is still there, they’ll just be paid to ignore it.

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