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October 03, 2003

A possible solution to the high IQ fertility crisis?

OK, this piece on shotgun weddings in India is just too hilarious to go unnoticed.

It is a big mistake to venture out at night if you are young, male and unmarried in the Indian state of Bihar.

Subhash Kumar, a bank clerk in Patna, let his guard down and paid the price by being kidnapped. Four days after being carried off by a gang of thugs, manacled to a bed, starved and severely beaten, Kumar found himself married to a girl he had never seen before.

His tears and offers to pay ransom led to beatings, at least until the nuptials were complete. During the marriage ceremony a rope was tied around Kumar's waist in case he disgraced the bride's family by trying to flee. But by then, the resistance had been beaten out of him.

In those dark hours, all he wanted was for the nightmare to end, even if it meant being married to a complete stranger. The next day a sullen Kumar took his wife home, vowing vengeance against his in-laws.

But, like thousands of similarly married Bihari grooms, he feared the kidnappers' vengeance. Unwilling to face more beatings, he resigned himself to marriage ...

This is marriage season in Bihar, in India's east, and it is a dangerous time for young men. Bihari social workers say excessive dowry demands by grooms has forced the parents of young women to hire men to organise such "shotgun alliances".

Bihar is among the most violent of India's 28 states, where politicians and landlords own private armies and the rule of law barely exists. Officials in the state capital, Patna, said scores of bachelors were abducted each year in the state's Gaya, Darbangha and Purnea districts and, after being beaten senseless, were married according to Hindu rites, in a custom that had gained tacit social approval.

Posted by jason_s at 10:49 PM

in louisiana they say, "thank god for mississipi." in the rest of india, they say "thank god for bihar."

Posted by: razib at October 3, 2003 10:59 PM

That's very funny. A real shotgun marriage!

Posted by: Zack at October 3, 2003 11:59 PM

more baby news! italy giving cash for babies!

Posted by: razib at October 4, 2003 12:14 AM

also, here is the link to my friend jim woodhill's organization (he's on the adv. board) project prevention, which address low i.q. reproduction (gives drug addicted women birth control, etc.).

Posted by: razib at October 4, 2003 01:16 AM

Re: the Italy article. Haven't we been clamoring for population reduction for the last 20 years? But now that it is actually happening, we're changing our minds and coming out in favor of sustained population growth? Screw that, I'm not changing my mind on this one. Population decline = good. Population growth = bad.

The main problem, as we all know, is that the birthrate of world's impoverished, and the world's religious nutcases (e.g., muslims), is declining more slowing than that of the educated populations of the West and East Asia. And of course there is the problem that mainly Europe faces with regard to population decline, namely that their pension system for retirees cannot be adequately funded with a declining population. Not that what I think will affect what Europe does, but I'd prefer that they focus upon reforming their economic system than upon promoting population growth, which is the last thing we need.

Posted by: Chris W at October 4, 2003 03:14 AM

Razib, don't go home. I know Bangla Desh isn't Bihar, but you can't be too careful.

Posted by: Zizka at October 4, 2003 01:32 PM

Actually Mississippi is kicking Louisiana's ass nowadays.

Posted by: martin at October 4, 2003 02:02 PM

Not for long, if they elect the brown dude:


Posted by: jimbo at October 4, 2003 03:16 PM

you know-about jindal, i almost moved to baton rouge once (an ex-gf had moved there, long story....) and when i was looking for apartments, most of the people (usually black people who assumed i was white when they talked to me on the phone and wondered if i'd be comfortable in a black area) had a hard time coming to grips with someone outside the black-white dichotomy (though louisiana has a mixed-race creole minority i guess). this could change it. the best thing about jindal though is that he is a fiscally conservative technocrat. very against-form for louisiana.

Posted by: razib at October 4, 2003 03:23 PM