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'Undermines women empowerment': NCW seeks remedial action against textbook listing merits of dowry

ANI | Updated: Apr 05, 2022 15:01 IST

New Delhi [India], April 5 (ANI): The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday wrote to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and sought his intervention and remedial action against the sociology textbook for nurses which listed the merits of dowry.
A letter was also written to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Secretary Rajesh Bhushan for action in the matter and to intimate the Commission within seven days.
NCW, in its letter, stated: "As stated in the media reports, the material suggests that getting a share of parental property in dowry is one of the "merits" of the regressive practice. In the book's cover, it is reported to be written according to the syllabus of the Indian Nursing Council. The page is from the Textbook of Sociology for Nurses by TK Indrani, under the heading, "The Merits of Dowry"."
The Commission said that dowry is a deep-rooted social evil in India, and portraying it in a positive way would undermine women's empowerment.
"The matter is of serious concern and the Commission has taken cognizance. It sends a very wrong message to the students about the prevailing menace of 'dowry'," the letter further read.
Indian Nursing Council on Monday condemned the "derogatory content" in the Sociology textbook for nurses wherein merits of dowry are listed, adding that it does not endorse any author or publication nor has it allowed any author to use the name of the Indian Nursing Council for their publications.
A chapter in a sociology textbook for nurses sparked a row yesterday as it has claimed that the system of dowry is actually good for society and even helps parents of "ugly looking girls" to get them married off.
The book is called 'Textbook of Sociology for Nurses' by Author TK Indrani lays and it is part of the curriculum for second-year B.Sc. students.
Taking note of the content and the outrage it faced on social media, the Statutory Body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare-- INC condemned the "substandard content" and said, "It has been brought to the notice of the Indian Nursing Council that some authors of Sociology for Nurses are quoting INC syllabus to publish substandard content in textbooks. INC strongly condemns any derogatory content which is against the prevailing law of the land."

INC also issued a clarification and said that it only prescribes syllabus for nursing programs, and the same is listed on its website.
"It is clarified that INC only prescribes syllabus for various nursing programs which is placed on its website. Indian Nursing Council as a policy does not endorse any author or publication nor has allowed any author to use the name of Indian Nursing Council for their publications," the statement read.
Notably, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi had flagged the issue and has also written to Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan over the contents of the textbook.
In her letter, Chaturvedi listed the content of the textbook wherein one of 'advantages' as stated in the textbook states: "Ugly looking girls can be married off with attractive dowry will well or ugly looking boys".
Another point in the textbook states: "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."
Calling out the textbook for its content, the Shiv Sena MP said, "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."
Demanding immediate action, Chaturvedi said that it is extremely unfortunate that such outdated ideas prevailed 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 added.
She has also requested Pradhan to "immediately stop the circulation of such regressive textbooks and take them off the curriculum."
"I also request you 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 institution, and, that the textbooks are reviewed and approved by a panel," the MP added. (ANI)