The more people engage with caste, the more it appears that caste is like the chewing gum stuck on you shoe. It takes a hell of a lot of effort to take it off – if at all you do manage to scrape off every last bit of the gum. And so it appears to be happening with The Times of India.
When the Times of India made announcement that it would offer discounts to people placing ads for inter-faith or inter-caste marriages, there was great appreciation for the move on social media.
The announcement was made on the May 22 (Sunday) edition of the newspaper, but not in the Lucknow edition. In the ‘Caste No Bar’ section of the matrimonial classifieds, some people have clearly specified their understanding of ‘Caste no bar’: it was restricted to the upper castes.
This was pointed out on Monday, by a Facebook page called The Savarna Fat Cat.
Some of those who advertised under the “Caste No Bar” section of the Lucknow edition, clearly said “Upper caste no bar”. A few others clearly said “Caste No Bar” while providing details about the man or woman for whom the ad was placed.
Most of the advertisers on the section however, had neither of the above comments, presumably because the sub-heading did specify that the column was for people who did not care about the caste of a person.
The height of the irony here, is that practically everybody advertising even under this section – whether they preferred upper caste applicants or not – did mention their own caste.