Police probe beauty pageant in India offering Canada-based groom as prize
New Delhi, Oct 14 (EFE).- Indian authorities said Friday they are investigating the organizers of a beauty contest that offered the winner a chance to marry an Indian citizen based in Canada, and had arrested two people in connection with the case.
The contest was set to be held on Oct.23 at a hotel in the northern state of Punjab.
The eligibility criteria mentioned that the contestants should be from the “general category,” referring to the higher hierarchies of the Hindu caste system.
Posters about the event began appearing on Thursday on the streets of the city of Bathinda, where the contest was supposed to take place, as well as on social media, the district police superintendent’s office told EFE.
Bathinda police on Twitter described the posters as “objectionable” in which “indecent words were written against women,” and announced an investigation into the matter.
Two people have been arrested on charges of fraud and offenses against women in relation to the case, the police superintendent’s office told EFE.
Despite what the posters mentioned, the representatives of the hotel where the competition was supposed to be held have claimed that no reservation had been made for the event, according to local media Indian Express and Times of India.
Families in the south Asian nation often resort to specialized websites and social media on the internet to arrange marriages and to facilitate the search for partners, based on caste and economic and social status, apart from certain desirable physical features.
However, screening potential partners based on caste is increasingly questioned by activists and civil organizations in the country on grounds of promoting social inequality between communities and further alienating marginalized sections.
Outrage at the supposed pageant is also indicative of the growing risks young people are willing to take for migrating to countries that are idealized for better quality of life and that serve as a niche for scams, labor exploitation, and human trafficking.
Canada is home to a diaspora of some five million Indians, many of them from Punjab, and is one of the main destinations for young people in the Asian country in search of new opportunities. EFE