Apparently “Ugly Looking Girls” Can Be Married Off With Attractive Dowry

sociology textbook withdrawn, merits of dowry, textbook of sociology for nurses
Social media being a relatively free space has revealed many dark realities, many hidden for good reasons and many we should have known. An incident involving the latter case took place on Twitter recently. One user shared a picture of a textbook used by college students. The contents in the page shown in the picture had a list on “Merits of Dowry”.

The user named Aparna wrote that she found the page in the second edition of Textbook of Sociology for Nurses. The book has been written by an author named TK Indrani. The page seen in the picture of the book’s page 122, Chapter 6. All these details were provided by the social media user who posted the picture. She also attached a screenshot of the book’s Amazon review. The book had been given 4.5 rate. The Twitter user wrote, ” Yes 4.5 rate.” If the maximum rating is at 5 then the book’s glowing review should worry us all. The author didn’t share the name of institution where this book is part of the students’ syllabus.

On the page shown in the viral picture, the author seems to be analysing dowry system in India with a hauntingly objective tone. Mentioning about the “paucity of young boys who have high salary jobs or promising careers”, the author wrote, “They [ young boys] become scarce commodity and demand huge amount of money from the girl’s parents to accept her as their daughter-in-law. ” The author also notes that it becomes an “obligation” of the groom’s family in finding husbands for their daughter.

Textbook of Sociology for Nurses Counts Merits of Dowry System

According to the author, dowry system also has advantages and merits. Which are four like, women get their parental share of property, the items given as dowry help in establishing a household, how dowry system helps education spreading among girls and how “ugly looking girls” are also married off if they have an “attractive dowry ” to a “well of ugly boy.”

On the education merit, the author writes that because parents have the burden of dowry they have started educating their girls. For educated girls, dowry demand is less. The author calls it an indirect advantage. To go a little further, the page mentions that women who are “ugly” can also get married to a man if her parents offer an “attractive dowry”. According this, all the women reaching marriage age or feeling desire of it should start finding out how ugly they are and how much dowry their parents will have to arrange in order to get them married. See the page’s image here. 

Suggested Reading: Gift, Tradition And Reputation? Dear Families These Are Just Excuses for Dowry

The page’s content are not untrue and that is not even the scary aspect about the viral image. The haunting part is that the content is being fed to college students in India in sociology subject. There is a reason why the dowry system was made illegal in India. In the eyes of the law, men and women are much more equal and women are not seen as an item to be given away to men with an automobile or cash. They are humans. A sociology book listing out merits of dowry system does not make sense because shouldn’t the college students know only the disadvantages of the evil practice?

What we are taught shapes a lot of our values and point of views. We might progress ten folds if the younger generation was taught gender equality and the several disadvantages suffered by both genders due to the lack of such a thing.

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