Tamil Nadu Brahmin youth look northwards for marriage

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Brahmin youths are in search of north Indian Brahmin brides after an acute shortage in the home state.

The Thamiznadu Brahmin Association (TBA) has launched a movement to seek brides for 40,000 men from the community. An article in the November issue of the Tamil mouthpiece of the TBA stated that the community is searching for Brahmin brides in the Hindi heartland of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Association president N. Narayanan while speaking to IANS said, “Around 40,000 Tamil Brahmin men in the age group between 30 and 40 are having difficulty in finding brides in Tamil Nadu from the community.”

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He cited the skewed sex ratio as the main reason and said that for every ten boys only 6 girls are there and this is creating major problems in finding brides.

The Brahmin community of Tamil Nadu is a stickler for tradition and even marriages between Tenkalai and Adikalai sects in the Iyengar community are not possible. Marriages between Telugu and Tamil Brahmins are common and so are marriages between Kannada speaking Madhwas and Tamil speaking Smarthas. Now the Brahmins of the state are stretching their wings to North India in search of Brahmin brides.

However, intellectuals and academicians differ on the reason for the shortage of brides even though they agree that there is a shortage.

R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based out of Madurai and himself a Brahmin, told IANS, “More than the sex disparity ratio, several Brahmin parents are finding it difficult to marry off their girls. The reason is the standard set by rich and affluent Brahmins in marriages even though the customs and traditions and teachings of the community are against pomp and show. Thus, several parents are finding it difficult to marry their daughters and this is a major reason for the shortage of brides.”

The Tamizhnadu Brahmin Association is planning to appoint coordinators in Delhi, Lucknow and Patna to scout for brides for Brahmin youths from the state. A person proficient in Hindi will be appointed at the association headquarters in Chennai to coordinate for the Tamil Nadu part.

The TBA is of the opinion that taking up family planning as proposed by the government is one reason for the shortage of brides and for the imbalance in the sex ratio between brides and grooms.

Gourikrishna, a homemaker in Adayar, Chennai who belongs to the traditional Iyengar sect, told IANS, “Brahmin boys can search for brides from other communities as well. This is not happening because everyone wants to maintain their legacy and is sticking to their traditions. This has led to the youths searching for brides in North Indian states. I don’t know how the girls of those places will adjust to South India, especially Tamil Nadu, as the Brahmins here are entirely different from the North Indians. If they are marrying North Indian girls, they can easily marry outside the community.”

The subject has become a topic of hot debate and a social issue with as many as 40,000 youths of the community not getting brides within the state.

Social commentator and retired Professor M.K. Krishnan told IANS, “Brahmins must think outside their community and then they can marry within Tamil Nadu. It will be better than marrying from outside the state especially, North Indian states.”

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