Bengaluru’s SJC College Highlights ‘Advantages’ of Dowry, Says it Helps Ugly Girls Get Married
Bengaluru, Oct 21: A Bengaluru college is facing criticism after it highlighted the “advantages of dowry” in a sociology study material. Listed out by St Joseph College’s Sociology department, the mentioned “advantages” read, “USP of a hefty dowry is that an ugly looking girl easily finds a partner.”
The study material begins with a text saying though dowry is considered as an evil practice many still support it. As per the study material, it is a “useful tool” in attracting good and handsome men.
The other “advantages of dowry”, according to the study material, is that it helps in “increasing the status of women in the family. As a woman brings a substantial sum at marriage, she is treated well just for her economic contribution. It affects the love and affection her husband bears for her,” adding, “A poor girl who doesn’t bring huge dowry in her marriage does not usually receive same attention and affection that is bestowed upon a rich girl.”
It also states: “…a daughter may claim a share in the ancestral asset…hence, it is better we give dowry and not a share in the dowry.”
Professor Kiran Jeevan, the Public Relations Officer of St. Joseph’s College, told India Today that an investigation was launched in this matter, adding, “College is trying to scratch the roots of the issue.”
” Our college does not hold such views and we always oppose such mentality,” Jeevan added.
As per Times of India, earlier this year, a sociology textbook of Maharashtra Board mentioned that parents of ugly and handicapped girls have to loosen their pockets for their daughters to get married. Dowry has been banned by the law since 1961.
English Department Defends Department of Sociology on Facebook:
The Department of English stands in solidarity with the Department of Sociology in the wake what they call is an “irresponsible attack on our colleagues via social media”.
Professor Cheriyan Alexander, HoD English, issued a statement which states:
“I am appalled at the growing number of irresponsible journalists being spawned by social media. In this case, take a look at the citizen-journalist-cum-engineering-student from Vellore who somehow gets hold of a page – just one out of some sixty-odd pages – circulated among sociology students preparing for exams at St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She then takes it upon herself to damn the institution on the basis of this one page.
She underlines selected sentences which obviously look politically incorrect to any educated Indian because they reiterate the old patriarchal ideology favouring dowry – obnoxious views, no doubt. What she doesn’t underline are the beginning and ending sentences on the same page, the first saying that these are the views of a certain section of society, the second the author’s warning that these arguments should not be left unquestioned.
The pages following then list out the objections to the above. The citizen journalist has not bothered to read the authorial disclaimers nor to ask for the book itself in order to examine what appears before or after the page that she is dissecting with such expertise. She has just taken off using that page as her runway.
She has not bothered to check back with the college on context, classroom methodology, debates and discussions in class or any of that sort of thing. She has just assumed that this must represent the College’s official ideology. We should not let such irresponsible journalistic practices go unexposed.
Here’s a very likely scenario that can take place tomorrow when someone of her ilk decides to paint the next college black. Let’s say a teacher of political thought and of the various political ideologies circulates readings taken from across the whole spectrum of ideologies that have been articulated on the stage of history up to now. So there are selections from Kautilya, Manu, Cicero, Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Gandhi, Mussolini, Ambedkar, Mao, among others. The purpose of the educator is to expose the students to the entire range so as to enable them to compare, analyse, critique and then distinguish between that which is regressive and that which is progressive among them – in short helping the student to think for himself or herself.
Now, let us say a page from these selections falls into the hands of the overenthusiastic citizen journalist of the kind under discussion. What is to prevent such a one from seizing a page from Hitler and say the college is indoctrinating its students in fascist ideology or a page from Mao and concluding the college is an incubating center for Naxalites. It can happen, my friends. So be on the guard against this growing tribe. They are the newest enemies of academic freedom.”