Bengaluru College Orders Probe After Reports That Study Material Allegedly Endorses Dowry
Bengaluru, Oct 21: Bengaluru’s St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Commerce says it has initiated a probe into the circulation of study material that endorses dowry. Reportedly, the students of sociology at the College were handed over study material that endorsed the system of dowry.
A page circulated on social media from the purported study material lists the advantages of the dowry system as seen by ‘its proponents’ and states: “It is a useful and effective method of attracting good, handsome and sometimes unwilling boys for marriage.”
It also states: “Dowry increases the status of a woman in the family. As a woman brings substantial sum at marriage, she is treated well just for her economic contribution. It affects the love and affection her husband bears for her. A poor girl who does not bring huge dowry in her marriage does not usually receive the same attention and affection that is bestowed upon a rich girl.”
The saving grace seems to be the last line: “The merits listed above doesn’t mean dowry is recommendable.”
India.com cannot independently verify the contents of the study material.
Professor Kiran Jeevan, the public relations of the college said in a statement: “Such views have never been part of the college syllabus. In fact, the department and the college are opposed to such obscurantist and oppressive patriarchal views as are contained in the page cited.” The college has initially refuted the allegations before this statement was released. The head of the sociology department had reportedly denied that St Joseph’s College hands out study material.
The hullabaloo this page has caused has opened up a veritable can of worms.
Giving or taking dowry is punishable by law under the Prevention of Dowry Act of 1961.
Earlier this year, a sociology textbook of the Maharashtra Board reasons why parents have to shell out higher dowry to get their daughters married. The Class 12 textbook said: “If a girl is ugly and handicapped, then it becomes very difficult for her to get married. To marry such girls, the bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. Parents of such girls become helpless and pay dowry as per the demands of the bridegroom as a family.”
The state government ordered a probe after the incident came to light and the offending portion of the text was scrapped.