New Delhi [India]. Feb. 3 : Condemning the Maharashtra State Education Board over the shocking content in a state textbook citing 'ugliness' as one of the reason for dowry menace, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has assured that the matter has been taken into cognizance, while expressing concern that the incident indicates the unfortunate mindset that is promoting dowry in many ways.
"We have immediately taken cognizance and have sent a letter to Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde, and we would also be writing to the Board under which this book is issued.
If necessary we will also ask the Centre to see that some sort of guidelines are issued to the states, to say that social issues must be dealt with very sensitively," NCW chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam told ANI.
Asserting that the recent incident indicated the mindset that is promoting dowry in many ways, she further said that it was also teaching children that dowry is not wrong and there are acceptable reasons for asking it.
"Girls are not just about their looks and abilities and moreover it is like saying 'unless a girl gets married she has no other life'.
This a very wrong way of putting things across and this also shows how deep patriarchy is in this country that girls really have no values of their own, the entire onus is upon the boys," she said.
Maharashtra State Education Board racked up controversy over a Class 12 sociology textbook that lists "ugliness of the girl" as reasons why parents are forced to pay dowry to get them married.
The text appears in a chapter in the sociology textbook titled 'Major Social Problems in India' of the Maharashtra Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board.
"If a girl is ugly and handicapped, it becomes very difficult for her to get married. To marry her, the girl's bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. The helpless parents of such girls are then forced to pay up." the textbook says..