A school textbook excerpt has caused outrage online for its contents. Shared on Twitter, it listed down the 'merits' of promoting the popular yet unfortunate practise in Indian society. The picture was taken from a Sociology textbook called 'Textbook of Sociology for Nurses' by TK Indrani, an important part of the nursing curriculum in the country.
The viral picture was shared by a woman named Aparna on Twitter. After posting it on the microblogging site, it went viral and was shared by various other users as well, including Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, who condemned such information as being part of the syllabus of a progressive country like ours.
Dowry And Its 'Merits'
The concerned chapter was dedicated to the practice of dowry. "The most important cause of accepting dowry by the groom's parents is that they give dowry to their daughters and sisters. Naturally, they look to the dowry of their sons to meet their obligations in finding husbands for their daughters," said one of the lines.
Further, the paragraph goes on to lays down pointers that defend the age-old and archaic custom. The first point states that it is helpful in 'establishing a household'. It adds, "The custom of giving household items like cots, mattresses, television, fan refrigerator, utensils, clothes and even vehicle is found in many parts of our India. The other points also include a daughter getting the dowry's parental share and education demanding a lesser amount.
However, it all gets problematic in the last point. "Ugly looking girls can be married off with an attractive dowry with well or ugly looking boys," said the penultimate point.
A Regressive Mindset
For time immemorial, dowry has been a practice that has existed in Indian society. Even today, several progressive families indulge in it indirectly in the form of asking for necessary 'help' in order to ensure their children's well-being. However, in the garb of assistance, the very activity has perpetuated a regressive mindset in a patriarchal society like ours.
Therefore, the above-mentioned point is only driving the ideology further into people's minds. "A textbook elaborating the merits of dowry can actually exist in our curriculum is a shame for the nation and its constitution," Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted and tagged the education minister, Dharmendra Pradhan to take action against the same.
According to Deccan Herald, the Indian Nursing Council has issued a notification against the excerpt. Following the outrage, the publishing house will delete the offensive sections in the book's future sections. A spokesperson told the news publication, "Whenever we go in for revised editions, this portion will be removed from the book."
Also Read: Uttar Pradesh: Mandatory For Public Servants To Submit 'No Dowry' Affidavits