Not that we needed any evidence of the prevalence of caste in India – even amongst the elites who like to pretend caste doesn’t exists when it comes to the reservation debate. The Times of India reports from Mumbai:
In India, it’s well known that couples shopping for sperm demand both looks and brains. What isn’t so well known, despite being fairly commonplace, is a more outrageous request: caste-based sperm. Three years ago, Dr Saurav Kumar, a Patna gynaecologist, created a furore when he told a newspaper that childless couples insisted on knowing the caste of sperm donors. But while one may be tempted to assume that caste biases are entrenched only in states likeBihar, the city’s infertility experts insist otherwise.
Dilip Patil, founding president of Trivector, an infertility solutions firm, says there is a definite preference for Brahim donors in Mumbai. “Even among Muslims, couples want to know whether the donor is Sunni or Shiite,” he says. “However, going by Indian Council of Medical Researchguidelines, we reveal only the religion of the donor, not the caste.” [Link]