The Karnataka government has announced a new scheme that will provide monetary support to Brahmin brides. While the government claims that the two schemes-Arundhati and Maitrei, are for the benefit of the impoverished people of the Brahmin community, the opposition has called it "regressive".
Under the Arundhati scheme, the family of the bride will be given Rs 25,000 for the marriage. At least 550 families will benefit under this scheme.
Under the Maitreyi scheme, the board will be giving Rs 3 lakh to the bride if she marries a priest: Archakras and Purohits. Under the Arundhati scheme. Nearly 25 families will receive the amount under this scheme.
"The family has to produce a certificate citing they are from the economically backward class. Moreover, they have to also belong to the (Brahmin) community," HS Sachidananda, the director of Karnataka State Brahmin Development Board told The News Minute.
"Marriage is a personal choice and incentivizing certain types of marriages over others is regressive and anti-women," YB Srivatsa, the National Campaign Head for Youth wing of Congress said.
"Why can't they give loans for Brahmin women entrepreneurs? Why not fund the education of poor Brahmin girls," he questioned.
Among other restrictions, Sachidananda said that it should be the bride and groom's first marriage and the union should be registered in order to get the amount. "The couple has to be married for at least five years," he added.
The Brahmin population of Karnataka constitutes 3% of the total state population, according to the caste census of 2018.
"We want to uplift the people who come from poor economic backgrounds, especially the priests. They have a difficult time surviving because of work uncertainty. They can use the money we give and set up a small business to earn their living," Sachidananda said.