NEW DELHI: Describing a chapter on ‘merits and advantages’ in the curriculum of BSc second-year as a “shame for the nation”, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Monday wrote to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan demanding to immediately stop the circulation of “such regressive textbooks” and take them off the curriculum.
In a letter to Pradhan, Chaturvedi, who is also a spokesperson of the Shiv Sena, said, “It has been found that a book called ‘Textbook of Sociology for Nurses’ by Author TK Indrani lays down ‘merits and advantages’ of the dowry system. This book is part of the curriculum for the second year B.Sc. students.”
Quoting from the book, the Shiv Sena leader said that one of the so called ‘advantages’ as stated in the textbook says, “Because of burden of dowry, many parents have started educating their girls. When the girls are educated or even employed, the demand of dowry will be less. Thus, it is an indirect advantage”.
Citing another example from the book, the Rajya Sabha Member said, “Another point says, ‘Ugly looking girls can be married off with attractive dowry with well or ugly looking boys’.”
“It is appalling how such derogatory and problematic text remains in circulation and that a textbook elaborating the merits of dowry can actually exist in our curriculum is a shame for the nation and its Constitution,” she said.
She further said that it is “extremely unfortunate” that such outdated ideas were prevailing despite dowry being a criminal act.
“It is even more concerning that students are being exposed to such regressive content and no action has been taken so far. Such reinforcement of the dowry system is offensive and should be actioned upon immediately,” she said.
“I request you to immediately stop the circulation of such regressive textbooks and take them off the curriculum,” she said adding that I also request to take strict measures in this regard and ensure that in future such anti-women content is neither taught or promoted, especially by the academic institutions and, that the textbooks are reviewed and approved by a panel.