Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences Ayurveda Refers Women As Baby-Making Factories, Lands In Controversy

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Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences' Ayurveda Refers Women As 'Baby-Making Factories', Lands In Controversy

On June 15, students were asked to write an essay on “Stree as a Vajikarana Dravya”, or woman as an aphrodisiac item. The controversial question soon received flak online for being misogynistic and problematic.

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The Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) in Karnataka has come under fire for allegedly using derogatory language towards women in a recent exam question paper.

In the Kayachikitsa paper for the fourth year BAMS exam, held on June 15, students were asked to write an essay on "Stree as a Vajikarana Dravya" or woman as an aphrodisiac item.

Move Draws Flak Online

The controversial question soon received backlash online for being misogynistic and problematic. Posting the question paper online, a Twitter user highlighted excerpts of BAMS textbooks where women have been referred to as "aphrodisiac items" and "baby-making factories," News18 reported.

"Everyone please see this theory question asked for Final Year Bachelor's in Ayurveda degree. Question is write a short essay on "Woman as an Aphrodisiac item". In the next tweets, I will show the textbook which students of Ayurveda are made to study and the answer to this question," the tweet read.

"This is the answer that students are studying in their Bachelor's degree, instead of progressive, scientific facts that are to be useful for community and humanity, chapter teaches how to objectify women into aphrodisiac 'items' and 'baby making factories," the user wrote in the following tweet along with the picture of a textbook.

"This is the textbook from which students learn Kayacikitsa (or Internal Medicine of Ayurveda). It is government approved and prepared according to syllabus by Central Council for Indian Medicine. Are we teaching our young students the way of 'rape culture' by objectifying women?," the user said, adding that it's pathetic that kids in India are still asked to answer such primitive questions.

RGUHS Reacts

Following the controversy, RGUHS said that the question paper was prepared based on the syllabus approved by the government.

"These are things taught in the textbook and are one of the methods of treatment. The institution has no authority over adding or omitting the book's contents as it is set by the Central Council for Indian Medicine," Ramakrishna Reddy, Registrar (Evaluation) of RGUHS, was quoted as saying.

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Writer : Tashafi Nazir
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Editor : Shiva Chaudhary
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