If a girl is ugly her family has to pay a higher dowry, is what a textbook in western Indian state of Maharashtra has been reportedly preaching.
The snapshot of the text were widely circulated on social media.
However, Times of India reported on Saturday that teachers in Pune, Maharashtra have refused to teach a chapter on dowry. The teachers said the mention of words like ‘ugliness’ and ‘handicapped’ made students uncomfortable, especially those with disabilities felt the text insulting.
According to Times of India, the teachers said they did not take the issue to the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary and Higher Secondary Education because they thought it would not be possible to make corrections in hundreds of thousands of books that have already been printed.
As per BBC News many pointed out that such texts did little to remove prejudices that already exist in Indian society.
Paying and accepting dowry is a centuries-old South Asian tradition where the bride’s parents gift cash, clothes and jewellery to the groom’s family.
Although the practice was declared illegal in India in 1961, it continues, leaving women vulnerable to domestic violence and even death, BBC News reported.
However, Indian textbooks have been criticised before.
Last year, a teacher in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh last year complained about a textbook for 15-year-olds in the state, which said that unemployment levels had risen after independence because women had begun working in various sectors, BBC News stated.
In 2006, it was discovered that a textbook for 14-year-olds in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan compared housewives to donkeys.