Several Twitter users on Monday shared a screenshot from a page of a textbook listing the ‘advantages of dowry’ while incorrectly claiming it was a excerpt from a social science textbook in Gujarat.
The screenshot is actually from the study material that was given to sociology students at a Bengaluru college and created an uproar in October 2017.
All India Mahila Congress tweeted the image with the caption, “Ugly display of Gujarat Model …..Teaching kids “Advantages of dowry” Social science textbook excerpt is BJP’s idea of women empowerment. We want to remind @CMOGuj about Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and by IPC 498a, the offence is Cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable”
In a now deleted tweet, the image had gone viral after Kavitha Lankesh, sister of slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, had tweeted it with the caption, “Women empowerment? Bullshit! A page from a social science book for the Gujarat Education Board . This shit is being taught to millions of children across Gujarat.”
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Viral on Twitter
The Gujarat Board of Education teaching students “The advantages of the Dowry system”. Cannot get more misogynistic than this. pic.twitter.com/zSKsqaVVjh— LEENA (@kunfaaya) July 15, 2019
Women empowerment? Bullshit!— Berozgaar Deepak Shukla® دیپک شکلا (@Deep4IND) July 15, 2019
A page from a social science book for the Gujarat Education Board . This shit is being taught to millions of children across Gujarat.
Gujarat model of development is teaching the pros of dowry to empower young girls !! #womenempowerment ??? pic.twitter.com/NLliOxWzth
A simple search with the keywords ‘dowry’ and ‘textbook’ threw up a Times of India article dated October 21, 2017 that detailed that the page was from study material distributed by a Bengaluru college.
Sixty students enrolled in the sociology batch at a college at St Joseph’s College in Bengaluru received study material about the ‘dowry menace’ in the country, the article stated.
Under ‘advantages of dowry’, the text begins with dowry is accepted as an evil practice and its supporters want to retain this custom, it then goes on to list the “advantages” of dowry, as seen by its proponents.
The New Minute had reported that the college administration had initially denied that the college had distributed the study material, but later released a statement to the media stating that the ‘matter is being investigated’ and they are ‘trying to find the root of the problem’.
The Dowry Prohibition Act was enacted on May 1, 1961, which is intended to prevent the giving or receiving of a dowry. Under the act dowry includes property, goods, or money given by either party to the marriage, by the parents of either party, or by anyone else in connection with the marriage.
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Anmol Alphonso is a fact-checker with BOOM. He has previously interned at IndiaSpend as a fact-checker and was a reporting intern at Times of India, Indian Express, and Mid-Day. He is a post-graduate diploma holder in journalism from St Paul’s Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai.
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