"They were young, glamorous and dreamily in love.
Pranay Perumalla strode into the wedding hall in a midnight blue suit, his face lit by a grin as he clasped the hand of his bride, Amrutha Varshini. The couple draped huge garlands of flowers around one another’s necks and relatives threw grains of yellow rice that caught in their dark hair.
But even as they celebrated, they were already in danger.
One bright afternoon less than a month later, the couple left a doctor’s appointment in the small southern Indian city where they grew up. A man came up behind them carrying a large butcher knife in his right hand. He hacked Pranay twice on the head and neck, killing him instantly.
Pranay, 23, was a Dalit, a term used to describe those formerly known as “untouchables.” Amrutha, 21, belongs to an upper caste. Her rich and powerful family viewed the couple’s union as an unacceptable humiliation. Her father, T. Maruthi Rao, was so enraged that he hired killers to murder his son-in-law, court documents say." Washpost
As a board member at a major foundation I voted for many years on decisions to award grants to social scientists for post graduate research.
The underlying mind set of my colleagues on the board as well as the hired staff of the foundation was such that "culture" (the accumulated customs and folkways of a people) are not real and that they only mask the true causes of behavior which are in the end always revealed as economic.
I do not exclude economic factors from the assembled causes of behavior but my colleagues at this foundation certainly disdained "culture," "the culture thing,"
In the end I resigned from the board.
Here, pilgrims we have the case of a father in law who hires an assassin and instructs him to kill his daughter's beloved for the sole apparent reason of the husband's lack of status as a member of a recognized caste. There is no apparent economic reason for the father's action unless one wishes to think of the waves of foreign invasions and establishment thereby of new social systems in India as being essentially economic re-structuring.