BRAHMIN Wanted: a beautiful, educated girl for a handsome Brahmin boy....
In India, the lists of classified matrimonial ads in the newspapers are almost endless. Caste is always mentioned, invariably. However, personal ads today also mention religious affiliations and professions. Doctors, engineers, even computer-software specialists are advertising in India for mates.
The fact that the 3500-year-old caste system should survive in India today almost defies comprehension. It has been an aberration of the Hindu psyche. Indians who use lofty rhetoric about progress, characterizing their society as "united in diversity," seem to be simply perpetuating the system of social gradation that has blighted so many lives.
Social distinctions can still be discerned in modern India in many ways. Even a highly educated Brahmin physician (a Brahmin is a Hindu of the highest caste) wraps the wrist of a Sudra (or low-caste person) with a band of cloth before feeling for the patient's pulse. That way, the Brahmin will not to be "defiled" by touching the Sudra's skin. Low-caste people are forbidden to use the wells in villages that high-caste Brahmins use for fear they will pollute the water. A low-caste family is refused the right to bury a family member near their village, where both high and low castes live, because of a superstition that the dead person's ghost will haunt the high- caste people. And a Brahmin bachelor living in a state with only a few surviving Brahmin families has to wait for five long years while his parents search for a suitable mate of the same high caste as he.