'Ugly girls can be married off': Indian Nursing Council condemns viral sociology textbook listing dowry merits

Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi had shot off a letter to the union education minister, asking him to “immediately” stop the circulation of such “regressive textbooks”.

Published: 05th April 2022 11:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2022 11:24 AM   |  A+A-

Broken marriage, dowry harassement, violence against women

Image for representational purpose only. ( Express Illustration)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Hours after social media users flagged a page from a textbook for nursing students highlighting that one of the merits of the dowry system was to get ugly girls married off, the Indian Nursing Council (INC), a statutory body under the union health ministry, strongly condemned derogatory content.

On Monday, Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi had shot off a letter to the union education minister, asking him to “immediately” stop the circulation of such “regressive textbooks” and take them off the circulation.

In the notification issued by the INC on Monday night, hours after the page from the textbook said to be issued by the council went viral on social media, it 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 against the prevailing law of the land. It is clarified that INC only prescribes syllabus for various nursing programs placed on its website,” it said.

“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,” it further added.

On Monday, Chaturvedi described the textbook as a “shame” and “derogatory” and said that the book ‘Textbook of Sociology for Nurses’ by author TK Indrani, which lays down ‘merits and advantages’ of the dowry system, was part of the curriculum for the second-year B.Sc students.

One of the lines from the page she highlighted in her letter was “ugly looking girls can be married off with attractive dowry with well or ugly looking boys.”

She said it is “appalling how such derogatory and problematic text remains in circulation and said it is a “shame for the nation and its constitution” that a textbook elaborating on the merits of dowry exists in “our curriculum.”

“It is regrettable that we have such outdated ideas prevailing despite dowry being a criminal act.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. Such reinforcement of the dowry system is oppressive and should be actioned upon immediately,” she said.

She also requested the minister “to take strict measures in this regard” and “ensure such anti-women content is neither taught nor promoted, especially by the academic institutions. The textbooks are reviewed and approved by a panel.”


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