Teaching school children that geting married without a bad name is a dream of every young girl.

These are the kind of text books, I think, Khaps and various Moral-senas might  like Indian children to be taught from. Some of these are religious beliefs and some personal prejudices.

Reminds me of a lesson in my kids’ Hindi book, in Class V, in a CBSE  school in Kochi, where Rama’s explains to Sita in great details, exactly why he wanted her to take the Agni Pariksha. I wish I had the book with me today, it was an excerpt from some well known writing I think. How are parents expected to react to something they strongly disagree with being taught in their kids’ school? I made sure my kids knew that a wrong remained a wrong, no matter who committed it; and to judge people by their actions, not by what everybody else seem to think of them.

In 1970s and 1980s, we were taught about human values, honesty, compassion, charity, truth, Unity in Diversity, Indian Constitution and how it made everybody equal; and about listening to our inner voice when unsure about what was the right thing to do. For years, it was a routine, for me, to count all the good and bad (based on that inner voice called conscience) things done that day, so I know what children are taught in school could remain with them life long. That’s what makes lack of logic a dangerous thing to teach little children.

Non-vegetarians lie, cheat, commit sex crimes: school textbook [Link shared by R]

1. …the Class 6 book titled New Healthway: Health, Hygiene, Physiology, Safety, Sex Education, Games and Exercises. On page 56, the books says about non-vegetarians, “They easily cheat, tell lies, they forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes.”

2. “it is the waste products which largely produce the flavour of meat”.

3. About Japanese diet:

“They are vegetarians and live longer than most other peoples. The generous use of green leafy vegetables, soya beans and grams has helped the people to maintain vigour, strength and endurance throughout the centuries” No mention of the fish in Japanese diet.

4. While talking about life lessons, the book advocates marriage for girls between 18 to 25. “To get married without a bad name is a dream of every young girl.” [Read the entire news article here.  And, more here]

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26 thoughts on “Teaching school children that geting married without a bad name is a dream of every young girl.

  1. Our moral values changes with time. So we should revise our text books accordingly the same way we revise our Science Text books.
    Old Patriarchal and conservative morals should not have any place in our Text Books. If ‘immoral’ stories from Holi textbooks and Puranas are being used,Teachers should be instructed to tell students that such things are unacceptable in modern day societies.

  2. Quote:
    ===================
    On page 56, the books says about non-vegetarians, “They easily cheat, tell lies, they forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes.”
    ====================
    Unquote:

    Except perhaps for committing sex crimes, Hitler probably did all this but was known to be a pure vegetarian!
    Go figure!

    Regards
    GV

  3. ‘so I know what children are taught in school could remain with them life long. That’s what makes lack of logic a dangerous thing to teach little children.’ – That is so true, IHM! To think of all the little kids who would have taken this as the gospel truth.

    It is truly worrying to see the kind of text books that seem to be part of our children’s education. With text books like these, it is so easy for schools to push their hidden agenda onto the kids.

    Reading all this makes me realize that I have no clue how text books are set, and formulated. Here, what I realized is that every school has a different set of text books. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a centralized, unbiased board to decide on the content of the books – or do we already have that?

  4. ‘ get married without a bad name’ ? God.. who writes such rubbish for school kids?
    Such lessons + a narrow minded teacher = horrifying combination for a kid who is learning the ways of the world.
    (I am a long time silent reader of this blog.. Kudos to this blog, it has given me hope and courage to stand my ground in some of my uncertain times. Thanks :))

  5. No surprise, really. I did my senior secondary in a reputed ‘international’ school in Delhi (CBSE cirriculum). In one of our biology textbooks, the topic of reproductive system had a moral monologue by the author that “Man is monogamous by nature.” and also exahalted monogamous marriages using similar rhetoric. While I am not against people who like monogamy, I found it hard to digest, even as a 17 year old, that books on science would be used as platforms of moralising. Not from a Kurukshetra University professor anyway.

    When I was in class 6 in Shillong, I read this Social Science book from a Delhi Publisher that talked about how the plains people of India living in river banks are civilised and had big towns while the hills people are uncivilised and had small towns.

    However, I am not so concerned about the text books, I am more concerned about the moral messages passed by Amitabh Bacchan type films. Most kids internalise the values taught by the entertainment media far more than the values taught by textbooks (which are too verbose, dry and approached as a way to get more marks). In one Amitabh Bacchan film, he gets imprisoned on a false charge, which leads his wife to murder her two daughters before killing herself. I was a little bit irked by the rationalisation Bacchan gave for his wife’s actions, as apparently, the shame of his daughters turning into sex workers to fend for themselves is far worse than their right to life. Imagine the kind of message this passes to the viewers.

    • AI, a lot of people in India would have nodded their heads in agreement during that scene.
      It’s like the chicken and egg question – Are movies the way they are because of society or is society the way it is because of the movies?

    • Yes, art imitating life or life imitating art. Outrageous Bollywood movie dialogues off the top of my head:

      1) Tu meri beti nahi, tu to mera beta hai (many many movies)

      2) Ye to ganga ki tarah pavitra hai (i.e virgin or celibate, never said for a man)

      3) Aurat to ber ki bel hoti hai (a creeper), use saare ki zaroorat hoti hai. Tum nahi doge to vo kahin sur sahara dhoondegi. (Sonali Bendre in Dhai Akshar Prem Ke)

      4) Hamein beta hi hoga (many many movies)

      5) Shakti Kapoor slaps his ‘modern’ wife twice, swears at her and says ‘ye muje bohot pehle karma chahiye tha’.. she is transformed into a traditional ‘good’ wife, serving him chapatis while he eats in the the next scene. This is part of the ‘happy ending’. (Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar)

      Not to forget the many sisters of bollywood heroes that committed suicide after being raped by the villain.

      And the huge number of movies and tv soaps where a saree-wearing abuse-tolerating woman is ‘good’ and a western clothes/ sleeveless blouse wearing confident ‘modern’ woman is ‘bad’.

      • And if the guy leaves his “good” wife for a “bad” girl then she will eventually betray him in some manner, be unfaithful or leave him when the tough times come and the “good” wife will still be there waiting for her husband to come back to her.
        Nothing is said about the husbands character for leaving the wife in the first place.
        I want to make a movie… in which the heroine will be the baddest girl possible and I will give her the happy ending.

      • Caravka, you forgot the one dialogue that all Indian mama’s boys swear by: “Mere paas Ma hai”. (Deewar, Amitabh Bachchan)

        This one has been used by countless men through the years to explain their fascination with Mommy’s apron-strings.
        Nuff said! :) ;

  6. Who writes these books?? How completely outrageous that there are so many baseless non-scientific idiotic things in a textbook. Are they not reviewed at all before printing?? I don’t know who the author was but I know a lot about him now: He/she is a vegetarian (of course!), hindu (possibly brahmin), never been to Japan and is a middle aged misogynistic idiot.

    I hope most kids ignore these ‘health’/ ‘social science’ type books like we did when we were kids.

  7. So a ‘girl’ can get a bad name after marriage?
    Oh right…I forgot…after marriage, like my in-laws, the ‘girl’ doesn’t have a name anymore. So they re-name her.
    Jeez what a load of cr^p.

  8. Moral education as a subject has been removed from our education system. I remember having this subject in 1-2 grade in the late 80s. there after we had no moral education classes at all. this is the most important subject to educate our masses on what is wrong and right. having practical projects and examples. Unfortunately now a whole generation or generations have come out without the right guidance.
    And unfortunately unlike the olden times, even the elders in the family do not set a good example by their deeds. or teach the kids what is the right thing to do.
    What happened to moral science?

    • Morals differ from person to person, so you really cannot teach kids morals. All you can do is teach them to listen to their inner conscience and act. Right and wrong are also subjective, so they ought not to be taught in a secular school system. For instance, I think arranged marriages are wrong, others may think they are the right thing to do. The right thing is whatever rocks your boat.

      • I agree with you Fem. I appreciate the fact that we had some wonderful books and teachers who encouraged us to analyse and choose and think and make up our minds about what was right or wrong. They also instilled a deep respect for our Constitution in us – Civics in class VI and VII was a favorite subject because it was fascinating to understand that somebody actually made it a right for people to be able to express themselves and to be equal and ‘justice’ was made a right – and the most amazing that we all could choose who we wanted to represent us… in fact we were taught that the Constitution was very cleverly made or else with the kind of leaders we are compelled to choose from could have meant an end to all these fundamental rights.

  9. What you learn as a kid stays with you for life ..three things I can recall from my childhood

    1. when you are 18 , you can decide for yourself legally . I watched A+ movies in front of my folks by that right , that I am a legal adult and I ascertain my right to chose the way i live with that right .Its called freedom and I was aware at age of 10 that when I will be 18 I will be free :)
    2. If you pray then have faith in God and you can connect directly to God without mediators .
    3. Don’t lie – I find it very hard to lie and sometimes am too honest for my own good .
    4. Fight for what’s right .

    –we need Civic education than moral education
    –All religious texts ought to be removed from books .
    –we need to teach kids self defense , awareness about body and prepare them against sexual crimes .
    – marriage , monogamy and abstinence – they are a practice which every individual should decide when the time is right.
    –There should be gender, religion , region discussions and activities.
    –instead of cooking and knitting classes for girls at schools as part of hobby an extra library or sports period will be better for all.
    – music , art can be taught in school .
    –health education in terms of hygiene and nutrition is important for all not just for girls

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