Skip to main content

Maharashtra shocker: India's rural poor produce more children as they have no other means of entertainment

By Our Representative
Why do poor people, especially of the rural areas, especially tribals, “procreate” more often than the rich? A clas 12 sociology textbook, produced by the Maharashtra government believes this is because they “do not have sufficient means of recreational facilities.”
Insisting “their only form of enjoyment is indulging in sexual activity, without even considering its outcomes”, the book wants teenaged children to believe that the only way to counter is to ensure that “these people are provided with certain recreational facilities”. Once this happens, “the number of births would definitely come down.”
This is, interestingly, not the only quotable quote from the book, brought to light by scholar, Disha Nawani, in a commentary, “School Textbooks: From Sublime to the Ridiculous”, published in the top journal, “Economic and Political Weekly" (EPW).
Published by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, and produced and distributed by the Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research, the book also makes one believe that “the women having high status prefer to give birth to few children” because “they consider that having more children will obstruct their career development”.
At another place, talking about the “problems of working women,” the book seeks to blames wives’ ambition for family tussles. It says, “If wife is more ambitious, she concentrates on her career and attempts to get promotion.” The result is, “she becomes somewhat negligent about her home and so her husband expresses his anger.”
Further: “Children are somehow neglected if both husband and wife are in service and as a result children can become deviant. For that they both blame each other.”
And what is the outcome? It underlines, “Many of the working women are not in a position to take care of their husbands or even some of them are not willing to take care of in-laws. As a result husband becomes angry”!
A third example cited by Nawani is about the reason for “demands of dowry”, which include a girl being “ugly” or handicapped”, which makes it difficult to get her married; and “expectations of suitable bridegroom” who is “well-educated, well matched, better earning”.
Other explanations for dowry are – a situation under which “parents of bridegroom demand more dowry at the time of their son’s marriage in order to compensate for the dowry amount they have paid for their daughter’s marriage”; and “social prestige and help to newly married life.”
Unemployment, the sociology book seeks to suggest, is not a problem which the state should be worried about. It says, “Suppose a person has no employment, it is his/her personal problem”, even as wanting to differentiate between “personal” and “social” problem.
It says, “A social problem is different from personal problem. A problem which is faced by the person or his/her family is considered as a personal problem. A problem, on the contrary which is faced by the numerous persons, is considered as social problem.”
Nawani quotes from the preface to say, the book has been published after “teachers and students appreciated those textbooks very much and were satisfied with the content and presentation”, adding, the book has been “reviewed by experts”.
This is not the only book which provides such quotable quotes, says Nawani. The economics textbook for Class 9 (Goel 2017), under “social discrimination against women” states: “As women earn more money – as has been repeatedly shown – they spend it on the further education and health of the children, as opposed to men, who often spend it on drink, tobacco or other women”!

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi's PRO, who served previous Congress, BJP CMs in Gujarat with "equal" competence

By Rajiv Shah
A public relations officer (PRO), even as maintaining anonymity, is supposed to “manage” reputation of his or her client, reflecting the client’s views in order to influence opinion and behaviour. A PRO is also known to use, the world over, media and communication to build, maintain, manage and plan publicity strategies and campaigns, even as dealing with enquiries from the public, particularly media, organising promotional events such as press conferences, open days, exhibitions, tours and visits. A PRO is also supposed to final touches to press statements for his or client.

80% school children are beaten up, 91% parents "approve" of it: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A recent report, prepared by researchers with the civil rights group, Agrasar, has revealed that of the 521 children from marginalized groups surveyed in Gurugram, Haryana, 80% said they are punished at school. Based on data collected from semi-urban communities in Gurugram, the report’s conclusions also take into account survey 100 parents, personal interviews with 26 children, three focus group discussions and one seasonal calendar exercise with 29 parents.