In-laws taking dowry because of the ugliness of the girl – this insensitive line about dowry is written in a textbook for class 12 published by Maharashtra state education board.
The chapter titled “Major Social Problems in India” in a sociology textbook for the Maharashtra state board’s secondary and higher secondary students. The chapter describes “ugly women find it difficult to get married and hence the dowry culture prevails”.
The book was first published in 2013 and reprinted in 2016.
Chapter 3 of the book reads, “If a girl is ugly and handicapped, it becomes very difficult for her to get married. To marry her, the girl’s bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. To marry such girls, bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. Parents of such girls become helpless and pay dowry as per the demands of the bridegroom’s family. It leads to rising in the practice of dowry system.”
Over the last two years, thousands of students are using this book to prepare for the Higher Secondary Certificate board examinations.
Quite obviously this was widely criticised by the college professors. A Bandra professor said, “When I first read the chapter on dowry, I was shocked. How can they write such things in a board textbook?”
She said professors tried to avoid reading the paragraph of the text in the classroom. The professor asserted they have to be very careful while teaching from the book and the students call this particular chapter “rubbish”.
State Education Minister Vinod Tawde refused to say anything about this. Instead, he asked the chairmen of the education board to give an explanation.
The state education board chief Gangadhar Mhamane told CNN-News 18, “I have asked for an explanation. I am out of station now and will return tomorrow. I will discuss it with the officials and will take action against whoever is responsible. We will discuss it with the Board of Studies.”
Dowry is one of the social maladies in India. Though there is a law against the dowry system, deaths and murders because of dowry is still continuing in many parts of the country.