The world maybe globalized, but it still has not managed to get people to give up one of the core elements that keep the caste system alive – marrying within one’s own caste or sub-caste.
A recent study by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) led by professor Narendar Pani has found that of 9,504 individuals surveyed in Bengaluru, only 1.2% had married outside their caste.
The study, "Caste in the age of globalization" also found that Brahmins are more open to marriage outside their caste, followed by the Naik community, which is a Scheduled Tribe.
"It is true that communication associated with globalization increases exposure to global practices. At the same time, communication simultaneously increases the ability to access the same caste on a global scale. The emergence of marriage websites is an indication of the same, and we are seeing westernized same-caste marriages," Pani told The Times of India.
The study also found other than caste people identified themselves with language, region or sub-caste.
Only less than 1% of those surveyed refused to state their caste to which Pani said, "This means more people are open to identifying themselves with caste. We found 163 castes in our sample. If you glance at private cabs running in ... the city, including to IT corridors, you find caste names openly displayed (for example, Gowda and Kuruba)."
The study noted caste continues to play a role in power at different levels and even determines the financial condition of the person.
Pani further told TOI, "While analyzing knowledge as power, we found that caste has control over policymaking. There is upper-caste dominance of non-government policy-influencing institutions like B.PAC, as was the case with the BATF earlier."