State government texbook howlers

• An English-medium class XII sociology textbook of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education ascribes “ugliness and handicap” as the main reasons why Indian parents have to pay dowry for the marriage of their daughters. “If a girl is ugly and handicapped, it becomes very difficult for her to get married. To marry her, the girl’s bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. The helpless parents of such girls are then forced to pay up,” explains the author.

• A class IV environment science textbook prescribed by Delhi government schools advises students to kill a kitten as part of an experiment. “No living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes. You can do an experiment. Take two wooden boxes. Make holes on the lid of one box. Put a small kitten in each box. Close the boxes. After some time, open the boxes. What do you see? The kitten inside the box without holes has died,” reads the text.

• A class IX Hindi textbook of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education compares a housewife to a donkey. “A donkey is like a housewife. It has to toil all day and, like her, may even have to give up food and water. In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents’ home, you’ll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master.” 

• A class X social science textbook, published by the Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education, says unemployment has spiraled after independence as more women have started working. “Before Independence, few women were employed. But today, women are employed in all sectors that has increased the proportion of unemployment among men,” it reads.

• A class IV Hindi textbook of the Gujarat State School Textbook Board defines the Urdu word “roza,” which denotes fasting during the holy month of Ramzan, as “an infectious disease that causes diarrhoea.” A class XI Hindi text describes Jesus Christ as a demon. 

• A class X English-medium physical education textbook of the Karnataka state board says badminton ace P.V. Sindhu “wone” bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016 instead of silver, while badminton champion Saina Nehwal’s name is inter-changeable with that of Sania Mirza, the international tennis star.