Among the few who are getting married to people from other castes, Brahmins lead the pack. Nayaks, a scheduled tribe, are also open to marrying outside their caste, the study says.
The study, led by NIAS professor Narendar Pani, is focusing on “Caste in the age of globalization”. It has surveyed 9,504 individuals in Bengaluru.
“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 says. Only 1.2% of the families surveyed had members who had married outside caste. Those who did not mention their caste were just 9.6% of those surveyed. Twothirds of those who did not mention caste cited their sub-caste. Less than 1% refused to state their caste; the rest insisted on identifying themselves with language, region or sub-caste. Says Pani: “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).” Caste continues to play a role in power at different levels. It determines people’s distance from poverty, the study notes.
“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,” Pani notes.