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Tamil Brahmin bachelors look towards North India as bride hunt gets tough in TN

According to the November issue of the TBA’s monthly Tamil magazine, this situation has been in the making for at least 10 years now.

Published: 18th November 2021 04:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2021 06:53 PM   |  A+A-

EXPress ILLUSTRATION

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Thamizhnadu Brahmin Association (TBA) has launched a special drive to find brides for 40,000 men from the community from the country’s heartland, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The reason: A shortage of potential partners in the State. According to the November issue of the TBA’s monthly Tamil magazine, this situation has been in the making for at least 10 years now.

An open letter by TBA President N Narayanan said around 40,000 young Tamil Brahmin men between the ages 30 and 40 and of varying qualifications are struggling to find brides in TN. Speaking to TNIE, Narayanan said the main reason is the sex ratio — for every 10 boys there are only six girls. “A gap in stature and status as well as inter-caste marriages are other reasons,” he added. 

“Family planning was taken up seriously by Brahmins despite opposition from Acharyas. This may be a reason for the number mismatch,” Narayanan said. Explaining more on the special drive, he said coordinators would be appointed in Delhi, Lucknow, and Patna and a person proficient in Hindi would be appointed at the association headquarters here to oversee the drive.

According to a woman from the community, “Marriage talks in the family always boil down to when the woman will quit her job. Also, a section of men in the community are apolitical and are unwilling to give up on traditions even if they do not make any sense in the modern times. The patriarchal backdrop is also to be blamed.” 

She also sought to know why Brahmin men are hesitant to find partners outside their community. “This situation can be interpreted as wanting to further their familial (community) legacy. The idea of marriage within the community is shallow and regressive,” she said.

Educationist M Parameswaran said while there is a lack of Tamil Brahmin girls in the marriageable age group, there is one more reason that men are unable to find brides. “Why do parents of boys want marriages to be held in swanky halls? What stops them from conducting marriage in a simple fashion?” he asked, adding the girl’s family had to bear the entire wedding expenditure and it was the bane of the Tamil Brahmin community.

The ‘Mahaperiyava’ preached simplicity in every walk of life and advised people to not use silk cloth, Parameswaran mentioned. (Mahaperiyava is a reverential reference to late Sankaracharya Chandrashekarendra Saraswati). A Ajay, a young man looking for a bride, said, “Tamil-Telugu Brahmin marriages are now common and so are weddings between Kannada-speaking Madhwas  (Madhwa Brahmins are a Vaishnavite sect and followers of Sri Madhwacharya) and Tamil-speaking Smarthas (Smarthas, also known as ‘Iyers’ in TN that are followers of Sri Adi Shankara). This was unimaginable decades ago.” 

He added that arranged marriages between north Indian and Tamil Brahmins were also common. A Vaishnavite Tamil Brahmin, who did not want to be named said, “Years ago, even marriages between Thenkalai and Vadakalai sects in the Iyengar community was impossible. Today, it is happening and this move of the association is welcome.”

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Comments(4)

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  • bmniac

    Waste
    15 days ago reply
  • N Ramaswami

    Well alittle truth mixed with a lot of masala! The real problem is the expectations on both side and possibly mother's contribution is no less. There's nothing wrong in expectations and even highly educated girlsfear about mother in law harrasment is not unfounded as i have seen and as my son's friend in high position told while searching for a boy for his girl" it's expectations marrying expectation. If some adjustments and give and take is taught to the girl and boy things do get settled. I thought in a case where mil pestered the girl through her educated son after marriage that the property of her father should be registered in his name by an educated mother and immature son but that sort of demands even come from highly educated employed mother though the girl is professionally qualified stunningly beautiful and from a highly respected family! The tambras should perhaps need to change the route. Giving up some small things on both sides and the parents change their thinking( particularly mother's tutoring girls or wanting to fulfill their dreams expectations etc) this situation will continue.
    15 days ago reply
  • RAM KUMAR KRISHNAN

    I am appalled to see how the author has portrayed the community as one promoting patriarchy and misogynist tendencies. It has got views from an unknown woman
    16 days ago reply
  • Venkatraman J

    Terrible piece of journalism in an attempt to fill space and give a reason! The author seems to come up with own conjecture to what's happening and doesn't have an iota of insight into the state of affairs. Go and ask any random person
    16 days ago reply
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