In Karnataka, Poor Brahmin Brides To Get Rs. 25,000 For Marriage, 3 Lakhs For Marrying A Priest
On one end, our courts have been dropping progressive rulings like accounting for a homemaker’s efforts and sacrifices, and women are making it to the headlines with their impressive achievements of becoming mayors at the age of 24. But on the other hand, we have The Karnataka State Brahmin Development Board trying to balance out the progression with a pinch of regression, as it decides to incentivise marriage for brides who marry, that too within the community.
Released as part of two new schemes launched by the Yediyurappa government last year, under the ‘Arundhati’ and ‘Maitreyi’ schemes, monetary benefits shall be seen extended to brides from the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among Brahmins. Because apparently, pushing young Brahmin women towards marriage and not education or work is a better prospect for the community. Or is it to make them stay confined to a stereotypical box? We are still confused..
As per the board, under the Arundhati scheme, Rs 25,000 would be provided for the poor Brahmin brides. Meanwhile, under the second scheme, Maitreyi, a bond of Rs 3 lakh would be offered to Brahmin women who marry priests in the state. This would be subject to fulfilment of a few conditions, as told by H.S. Sachidananda Murthy, chairman of the Board.
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He also said, “Brahmins who come from economically backward sections of society will be eligible. Other conditions include that not only should the bride be from the Brahmin community, it should be her first marriage.” He went on to say, “The married couple will also have to give an undertaking that they would remain married for a specified period of time.”
The opposition however, was not too delighted by the entire proposal for it said, “Marriage is a personal choice and incentivizing certain types of marriages over others is regressive and anti-women.” YB Srivatsa, the National Campaign Head for Youth Wing of Congress also further made a point to question the system as he asked, “Why can’t they give loans for Brahmin women entrepreneurs? Why not fund the education of poor Brahmin girls?”
Can’t say we don’t wonder the same thing. Furthermore, we’ve all seen how people take advantage of government schemes and incentives by committing fraud. What happens when women are forced into marriage or made to stay in an unhappy one for the sake of obtaining these incentives? If the Yediyurappa government is willing to set aside Rs 25 crores for the Board, it could have been done for a better purpose.