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

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Cruel legacy of Green Revolution? Covid-19 underscores 'risky, fragile' food system

By Moin Qazi*  The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of an unhealthy diet and the extreme fragility of food systems. The economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to provide better nutrition and health to all. The pandemic should spur us to redefine how we feed ourselves, and agricultural research can play a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable and resilient.

Coal blocks for tycoons: Rinchi village tribals may be declared forest land encroachers

By Gladson Dungdung*
On June 18, 2020, the Government of India initiated the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercialisation. These coal blocks are located in different states within India and most of them fall under Fifth Schedule areas. The Indian government claims that their decision to auction these coal areas is a big step towards making the country Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant) in the energy sector.