No more lesson on how to conceive a boy
INSTITUTE WITHDRAWS BOOK FOR BA STUDENTS DESCRIBING A RITUAL TO CONCEIVE A MALE CHILD AND HOLDING CASTE SYSTEM ‘INSTRUMENTAL IN PROTECTING THE HINDU CULTURE’
A history textbook prescribed by Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University that came under fire for describing an ancient ritual to conceive a male child has been removed from the curriculum.
Ajit Deshmukh, registrar of the university, said the vicechancellor took the decision to remove the book from the list of reference books provided in the syllabus. The university issued a notification to announce this decision last month.
HT had reported that the book in Marathi for first-year BA students titled Bhartacha Itihas (Indian History), published by a Nagpur-based publisher, described the ritual in a chapter named Samajik Vikas (social development) that enlists 16 sacraments of life adopted under the Ashram system prevalent in ancient India. While explaining Punswan — the second sacrament — the book reads, “It was a ritual to conceive a male child. It involved inserting powder of the stem of a Soma-like vegetable in the right nostril of the pregnant woman. Some texts have mentioned the Banyan tree.”
In another chapter titled Varnayavastha (caste-system), the book suggested that the caste system had been beneficial for society. It claimed the caste system was instrumental in protecting “Hindu culture” from foreign invaders and had contributed to development of various skills. It went on to suggest that lack of inter-caste marriage had helped preserve ‘purity of blood’.
The passage on conceiving a male child was flagged by Ganesh Borhade, an Ahmednagarbased activist, who suggested that the passage violates PreConception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994. The Act seeks to stop female foeticide and has banned prenatal sex determination.
Following a complaint by Borhade, the additional director of health services at the state family welfare office in Pune, in a letter, directed the Amravati district surgeon to act against the registrar of the university.
“The district collector took up the matter and it was resolved promptly. We hope the state will act against violation of PCPNDT Act in curricula,” said Borhade.