In indian marriages just five per cent of Indians said they had married a person from a different caste, says the first direct estimate of inter-caste marriages in India.
The India Human Development Survey (IHDS), conducted by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and the University of Maryland, also reported that 30 per cent of rural and 20 per cent of urban households said they practised untouchability. The IHDS is the largest non-government, pan-Indian household survey. It covers over 42,000 households, representative by class and social group. Its findings, yet to be made public, were shared exclusively with The Hindu. When married women aged between 15 and 49 were asked if theirs was an inter-caste marriage, just 5.4 per cent said yes, the proportion being marginally higher for urban over rural India.
There was no change in this proportion from the previous round of the IHDS (2004-05). Inter-caste marriages were rarest in Madhya Pradesh (under 1 per cent) and most common in Gujarat and Bihar (over 11 per cent).
“This was an indirect way of estimating the extent of inter-caste marriages. We cannot say if it was accurate, but it was a way to approach the truth,” Dr. K.C. Das, Professor in the Department of Migration and Urban Studies at the Mumbai-based International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), explained to The Hindu.
Read the story by Rukmini S in The Hindu