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Maharashtra State board in row over chapter in HSC book which states ‘dowry for ugly women’

Para says parents of ‘handicapped’, ‘ugly’ girls forced to pay dowry.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 3, 2017 4:14:05 am

Just ahead of the crucial board exams, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has found itself in a controversy. A sociology textbook for Class XII has a chapter with a paragraph that says parents of “ugly” and “handicapped” girls are forced to pay dowry to get them married.

After a series of objections raised on social media, school education minister Vinod Tawde Thursday met the state board chairman, seeking a clarification.

Tawde said: “After meeting the chairman, we found that the chapter had been in the HSC syllabus for the past three academic years. However, the matter has come to light only now, a few days ahead of the board exams. This isn’t a political matter and hence I leave it to the board of studies, which is responsible for framing and changing the syllabus. However, the board would decide the fate of the chapter in the next academic year.”

The paragraph with these remarks appears in a chapter in the sociology textbook titled ‘Major Social Problems in India’.

Along with factors such as religion, caste system, social prestige and compensation principle, the chapter cites “ugliness” and “handicaps” as a reason for the grooms’ families to demand more dowry.

Board chairman Gangadhar Mhamane said: “The matter was taken up by the education minister and I will discuss the issue with the board of studies. The chapter is being taught for the past three years and was not added this year. Following a meeting with the board of studies, we will decide on the further course of action. The changes made will come to effect from the next academic year.”

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