The sindoor ceremony is a traditional part of many Hindu weddings | Wikimedia Commons
Representational image | Wikimedia Commons
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Bengaluru: The Karnataka State Brahmin Development Board, set up by the Yediyurappa government last year, has now launched two new schemes aimed at brides from the community.   

The two schemes, ‘Arundhati’ and “Maitreyi’, will provide monetary benefits to brides from the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among Brahmins.   

According to the Board, the first scheme, Arundathi, will provide Rs 25,000 for Brahmin brides. The second scheme, Maitreyi, will assure a bond of Rs 3 lakh to Brahmin women who marry priests in the state.

H.S. Sachidananda Murthy, chairman of the Board, said the brides will have to fulfil some other conditions as well.

“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,” Murthy said. “The married couple will also have to give an undertaking that they would remain married for a specified period of time.”

According to the Brahmin board, around 500 girls of marriageable age and falling under the economically backward section have been identified for the Arundhati scheme. As part of the pilot programme, another 25 brides have been selected for the Maitreyi scheme. 

Board politics

The scheme is just the latest measure by the Yediyurappa-led BJP government to appease the community. The government has also launched an actionable scheme in which Rs 500 a month will be offered to nearly 4,000 individuals who show willingness to be trained in puja rituals and sandhya vandana (evening prayers). The age limit for this scheme is between 8-80 years.

The Brahmin board itself was only set up by the government in July last year, after the Modi government introduced the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation for upper castes. 

The board is part of a tradition by the state’s politicians to form them to appease particular communities. Although the BJP finally established the Brahmin Board, the idea was first mooted by JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy during his tenure as chief minister in 2018-19. Kumaraswamy had announced he would set aside Rs 25 crore for the Board. Brahmins constitute around 5 per cent of Karnataka’s voter base.

In the recent months, the BJP government announced the formation of not one but three new boards and corporations. This is being done to ensure that certain castes and groups are empowered sufficiently, including the Lingayat-Veerashaiva community (a dominant caste to which Yediyurappa belongs).

Other Karnataka chief ministers have followed a similar path — Devraj Urs set up a Backward Class Development Corporation, the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Development Corporation and the Minority Development Corporation. Former Congress CM Siddaramaiah created development corporations for the Bhovi, Madiga, Banjaras, Vishwakarma and Uppara communities.


Also read: This sandalwood soap, integral to most Kannadigas’ identity, traces its origins back to WW1


 

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17 Comments Share Your Views

17 COMMENTS

  1. Girls of the Govt impoverished Brahmana community raised to the level of Modi’s Moslems. When will their boys be recognized as Govt made untouchables?

  2. The evil “caste” system, the bane of this backward, poverty-stricken land of privation and squalor. This is THE Reason why this country will never become a just, egalitarian and progressive society but remain balkanized along caste lines.

  3. There was a similar scheme “Shaadi Bhagya” launched by Congress ; no prizes for guessing what and for whom it was meant. This article conveniently forgets to mention this.

    Further, regardless of religion/caste equal opportunities should be provided in Education/Jobs etc. Reservations be restricted to economic constraints not religion or caste.

  4. Poor and economically week Brahmins ???? They are holding top position form IAS,IPS,DIG, COMMISSIONER, GOVERNOR, SPEAKERS,BANKS, RBI,CBI, CID, RAILWAY, AIRWAYS name any even BUSINESSES

  5. Vote bank vote bank …… Poor Brahmins ? Ha ha ha I am living in Karnataka since born 25 years lived in north Karnataka and 18 year in Bangalore I haven’t come across poor and economically week Brahmins ever… Please correct me if I’m wrong

  6. This scheme is being introduced when all the poor Brahmins are dead, or girls have married to other caste boys. Marrying a priest looks a good idea, but I don’t know which girl of this x-gen kids go for it

  7. Now you can be sure of fake priest coming up on the screen. Any guideline to check whether the person marrying is a genuine priest.?

  8. Dear Print, Don’t see politics everywhere. Allow the poor to live in the country. Poverty is not limited by castes. There are poor people in every caste and community. Poor brahmin widows in Karnataka sometimes earn living by preparing cotton wicks for puja. That’s their only source of livelihood. Do you think that if 500 brides get money, entire 5% Brahmin voters will stand behind BSY?

  9. What a ridiculous scheme. Tying economic empowerment to the institution of marriage is bound to cause a shitstorm. Create economic opportunities outside marriage and stop treating women like property and cloaking bigotry under the name of empowerment.

    • Friends perhaps you are not aware of the ground realities. The non availability of brides more particularly to the priests has reached such a stage that many of the priests are still bachelors even at 40-45. Please don’t ridicule the scheme without knowing the basics.

      • No the ground reality is that brides are available , but as they are from other castes , the priests wont marry them.
        By doing intercaste marriage they could have shown they believe in ‘Brahman’ and not caste.

    • perhaps you are not aware of the ground realities. The non availability of brides for priests is such a that many of them are still bachelors at 40-45. Without knowing the basics don’t criticize.

  10. Will there be any Development Board for common man ? At this rate we are pushing country and state 100 years backwards.

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