The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Education for Class 12 students states that ‘ugliness’ is a cause for dowry. While speaking about the social evil of dowry, the textbook explains the conservative mindset, adding that being ugly or handicapped are some of the reasons why families have to shell out more money for dowry when they are marrying off their daughters. The book by Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education was first printed in 2013 and is used by thousands of students who opted for sociology at junior college level. Also Read - CBSE Extends Payment Deadline For Class 10 & 12 Board Exams 2021 Fee | Check New Date Here
The textbook in its chapter titled ‘Major social problems in India’ talks about dowry, gender equality, problems of working women and farmer suicides along with other social issues faced by women. While explaining the point under the subhead ‘Ugliness’, the textbook reads, “If a girl is ugly and handicapped, then it becomes 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 the family. It leads to rise in the practice of dowry system.” Also Read - ICSE, ISC Class 10 & 12 Compartment Exams From October 6 to 9, Result on October 17 | All You Need to Know
The Times of India quotes a teacher of the subject in a south Mumbai college as saying, “These are issues which are real and we cannot deny it but when we first read the text, I was offended. It could be handled far more delicately. When we read out in class, it is very awkward if there is a student with disabilities. In addition to, the teenagers are extremely self-conscious of their image and it could hurt them.” Textbook shocker: Asaram shown as saint in Rajasthan school book! Also Read - CBSE Class 10th, 12th Compartment Exam 2020 Begins Today | Check Covid-19 Guidelines Here
After the improper text in the school book was pointed out to the education department, Education Minister Vinod Tawde assured to review the contents of the textbook and said that he has already spoken to the concerned people regarding it.