CASTE SYSTEM? WHAT CASTE SYSTEM?
In order to help eradicate the caste system, some states in India have been paying up to $1100 to upper caste people who marry members of the two lowest castes. The state of Gujarat is at the high end, while West Bengal pays a measly $45.* They don't say whether they get paid to marry Untouchables/Dalits/Harijans, which are thought to be so polluted they are casteless.
Now, legislators want to make the reward $1100 througout the world's largest democracy. Although it would cover just two months at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, this is a significant amount of money for most Indians and is meant to help the happy couple set up a house.
Apparently the marriage is reward enough for the lower castes, who still experience widespread discrimination.
The hope is that if enough people mixed it up, the idea of caste would eventually disappear.
Perhaps the world's loudest democracy should follow suit and admit that racism is still a problem in America -- call a spade a spade as it were -- and do the same for interracial couples (straight, gay or otherwise) who decide to tie the knot.
If enough people mixed it up, perhaps our conception of race would eventually disappear.
Of course we'd find other ways to discriminate against people.
Like, say, class, age and gender....
*Todays Fun Fact: Over half of the 250,000 Indians living in the Chicago hail from the western state of Gujarat -- which seems to experience more than its fair share of natural disasters, sectarian violence and goverment duplicity in the latter. They got out while the gettin' was good.