Sunday, November 19, 2006

How To Buy A Woman In India For Under $5000.

A low-caste woman, the president of a village council in southern India, was auctioned off to a high-caste landlord for $4,810 (2,206 pounds), a report said on Sunday.

Winning the bid for the illiterate farm worker, Balamani Veeman, meant that the landlord could take commissions on the village contracts that only she could approve, the Indian Express newspaper said, quoting villagers who attended the auction.

Veeman had protested, "but the (village) elders did not listen", the paper quoted her husband as saying.

While there is no formal relationship between them, the fact that the woman is of low caste and the winning bidder a member of the upper-caste Thevar community means that she will agree to his demands on the question of commissions.

Under the deal, the landlord would also become vice-president of the village council, the paper said.

Veeman was appointed president of the council or panchayat in Kodikulam, a village near Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, as the position was reserved for a low-caste person, the paper said.

Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited.

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