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‘Ugly Girls Can be Married-off:’ Nursing College Sociology Book States Merits of Dowry, Draws Flak

Nursing college sociology book enlists merits of dowry (Representational Image)

Nursing college sociology book enlists merits of dowry (Representational Image)

The book which is part of nursing courses claims to be as per the syllabus of the Indian Nursing Council claims that the practice of dowry has helped in spreading education among girls.

A college-level sociology textbook has come under heavy scrutiny from netizens for allegedly justifying the practice of dowry. In what seems to be a justification of dowry, the book lists a few “advantages” of the practice. The first point states that the practice of dowry is helpful in establishing new households with gifts like cots, mattresses, TV, fan, and others. It also calls dowry part of the share of the girl in her parent’s property.

The book which is part of nursing courses claims to be as per the syllabus of the Indian Nursing Council claims that the practice of dowry has helped in spreading education among girls. A snapshot of the controversial part was posted online by a Twitter user along with the details of the book and author.

Calling it an indirect advantage, the book states that parents are now encouraging girls to complete education and get employment so that they have to give less dowry.

The last point in these “merits” states that using dowry even “ugly looking girls” can be married off to well or ugly looking boys. The controversial points feature in Chapter 6 on page number 122 of this book, Textbook of Sociology for Nurses authored by TK Indrani.


Netizens slammed the book for its alleged problematic content and asked authorities to rectify the mistakes in it. “Is this how we plan to get rid of ‘dowry’ as a social menace sirs? When we dole out so-called advantages of dowry to students! [Please] rectify this situation ASAP,” wrote a user in his reaction while others demanded legal action against the publishers of the book.

Expressing her disappointment over the book’s content, a user said that at this rate, there also may be some book justifying ‘sati’ in the future.

However, this is not the first time that a textbook has received criticism for problematic content. Earlier, a children’s textbook from West Bengal was slammed for carrying a portion derogatory to people of dark complexion. The book presented alphabets with corresponding words and images. It defined ‘U’ for ugly with an illustration of a boy with a dark complexion next to it.

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first published:April 04, 2022, 12:40 IST