A major controversy has erupted in India over a textbook in the western state of Maharashtra that has listed “ugliness” and “physical disability” of women as the two major reasons for the increased demand for dowry.
“If a girl is ugly and handicapped then it becomes difficult for her to get married. To marry such girls, (the) bridegroom and his family demand more dowry,” the book says in one of its passage.
Though local authorities have said that the passage will soon be taken off the textbook, people have expressed their anger, with some highlighting the evils of the decades-old practice on social media.
“This is a kind of xenophobia inside this country. This is deeply regressive mindset particularly of those who believe in taking dowry during marriage. The textbook passage needs to be deleted at the earliest,” said Raj C. Roy, who is also active on social media.
Some also took to social media to vent out their anger. “This is actually the mindset of people demanding dowry. I am not surprised at this. This is bitter truth,” tweeted Jaspreet Singh.
Despite being declared illegal in law in India, dowry is a practice that has been prevalent in this country for decades, and if not paid, it often leaves women vulnerable to domestic violence and even death. Endit