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Ugliness is Reason for Dowry, Says Maharashtra School Textbook

The sociology textbook in question is used to teach Class 12 students. (Network18)

New Delhi: A textbook for Class 12 students in Maharashtra lists dowry as a ‘major social problem in India’. So far, so good. But the chapter takes an outrageous turn when it identifies “ugliness” and “handicap” as causes of the social ill.

The chapter titled ‘Major Social Problems in India’ in a sociology textbook for the Maharashtra state board’s secondary and higher secondary students goes on to describe how “ugly women find it difficult to get married and hence the dowry culture prevails”.

One section of the chapter reads: “If a girl is ugly and handicapped, then it becomes a very difficult for her to get married. To marry such girls, bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. Parents of such girls become helpless and pay dowry as per the demands of the bridegroom’s family. It leads to rise in the practice of dowry system.”

Speaking to CNN-News18, state education board chief GK Mhamane said: “I have asked for an explanation. I am out of station now and will return tomorrow. I will discuss it with the officials and will take action against whoever is responsible. We will discuss it with the Board of Studies.”