Most unexpected metamorphosis takes place, through Kadva Patel of Gujrat and Mangalore of Karnataka. While there would be nothing unusual about this for most other communities, for the Kadva Patels, to whom marriage outside their caste is nothing short of blasphemy, it's an astounding development. However, there is a reason - not growing liberalism but Gujarat's skewed sex ratio where males far outnumber females. Karnataka, especially Mangalore, is one of the places where the Kadva Patels, confronting a shortage of brides, have been looking for the past several years - there are at least 300 women from Mangalore now in different villages of Saurashtra. But it's not like the two places have no cultural connect at all. A Mangalore-Kathiawad connection exists on account of the large number of Kadva Patels engaged in the betel nut business in Mangalore. Over 2, 200 Gujaratis, mainly Kadva Patels, have been settled there for the last four decades. The women from the south are happy to move to Gujarat. Tulsi, a native of Ariyapadav village near Mangalore, has married a rich farmer, Kamlesh Patel, in Khageshree village in Porbandar.
Vansjaliya, who says that the shortage of brides has created "a major social problem across the state" declares that the community "needs to look for other options in the country". "We need to tackle the marriage issue in an organised manner, " he says, a sentiment which is shared by former irrigation minister and Junagadh-based Kadva Patel leader Mohanlal Patel. To this end, community leaders are planning a mass wedding between Kathiawadi men with girls from UP and MP.