India may be on verge of getting into the league of developed economies but when it comes to analysing the social mindset of citizens in our country, we still are surrounded by orthodox social cocoons which leave behind preconceived stigmas detrimental to the social psyche of the society.
According to reports in multiple news portals, a textbook for Class 12 students in Maharashtra lists dowry as a ‘major social problem in India’. The first look at the headline reflects a healthy social mindset and puts the young minds on the right learning path but the chapter takes an outrageous turn when it identifies “ugliness” and “handicap” as causes of the social ill.
In a chapter of the of the HSC Sociology text book titled ‘Major Social Problems in India’, it was described how ugly women find it difficult to get married and hence the dowry culture prevails.
According to the text of the book, it said, “If a girl is ugly and handicapped, then it becomes a very difficult for her to get married. 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 as family.
It leads to rise in the practice of dowry system.”
When enquired about the matter, State Education Minister Vinod Tawde declined comment on the issue. He instead asked the chairman of the education board to give an explanation.
In a similar incident of tampering the education system through society and culture, the West Bengal government had replaced the traditional Bengali name for rainbow.
Changing the names from the text books of the state, the West Bengal Council for Higher Education had replaced the word ‘ramdhenu’ with ‘rongdhenu. While the Bengali word for rainbow, ‘Ramdhenu’ means Lord Ram’s bow, ‘Rongdhenu’ means bow of colors.