Now, a UG Textbook Teaches Students Ways to Conceive a Boy

Third-year students of Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery in Maharashtra learn ways to conceive a boy.

2 min read
A textbook in Maharashtra prescribes ways to conceive a baby boy. Photo used for representational purpose. (Photo: Reuters)

Here’s a simple recipe: Collect two north facing branches of a Banyan tree that has grown in a stable, take exactly two grains of urad dalmustard seeds, grind all the ingredients with curd, and consume the mixture.

Wondering what this will do?

According to a textbook prescribed for third-year students of Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery (BAMS), this recipe is the ultimate prescription for conceiving a baby boy, reported Mumbai Mirror on Monday.

Yes, you read that right. In a country with already dismal records of female foeticide, this text only goes to validate years and years of patriarchal conditioning.

The text is found in an ancient compilation on Ayurveda called Charaka Samhit, which describes in great detail the process of conceiving a male foetus, also called the ‘pusanvan'. This text is a part of the BAMS syllabus in Maharashtra, as reported by the paper. The text further enlists several other ways to ensure a boy.

“Create two miniature statues of a man out of gold, silver, or iron after throwing the statues in a furnace. Pour that molten element in milk, curd or water, and on an auspicious hour of Pushp Nakshatra, consume it,” is one other technique listed in the book.

The syllabus in Maharashtra is supervised by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) in Nashik. What’s of even more importance is the fact that the curriculum was decided on and approved by the government’s AYUSH ministry.

A growing chorus of voices against the text has now started doing the rounds. Ganesh Borhade, a member of the district supervisory board of the PreConception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act was quoted by Mumbai Mirror as saying, “Many people shun allopathy in favour of Ayurveda, and if this is what medical students are being taught, God help this society.”

Dr Asaram Khade, the Maharashtra PCPNDT Act consultant, also told the publication that they have submitted a letter to the government to seek their response. “The academic year starts in July, and such content supports female foeticide,” he said.

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