Tall and Fair? Rajasthan Textbook Tells Us How to Be Entrepreneurs

A class 12 school textbook lists ‘good height’ and ‘beautiful complexion’ as criteria to be an entrepreneur.

3 min read
Hindi Female

If you thought a SWOT analysis was all you needed to become an entrepreneur, you might want to reassess your capabilities. Based on your physical attributes. Stumped?

In its school textbooks, the Rajasthan government lists “good height” and “beautiful complexion” as two of the many qualities required to become an entrepreneur.

A Skills Development chapter in a class 12 textbook written in Hindi outlines physical attributes such as “Uttam swasthya, prabhavshali vyaktitva, acchi unchai, sundar rang, shaleenta, gambhirta (perfect health, impressive personality, good height, beautiful complexion, sobriety, seriousness)”, reports the Indian Express.


Separate textbooks are dedicated to ‘socially relevant schemes’, according to the latest curriculum developed by the Rajasthan government for secondary and senior secondary classes.

In these textbooks, flagship programmes of the BJP government are described in Hindi. The books also direct students to “internalise every word” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swacch Bharat’ pledge.

Interestingly, this addition is the latest in a series of controversial content published by school textbooks across the country.

‘Ugliness of a Girl Is Proportional to Her Dowry’

In February 2017, it was found that a class 12 Sociology textbook introduced by the Maharashtra government lists the “ugliness of a girl” as one of the reasons which determines dowry at the time of marriage.

“If a girl is ugly and handicapped, it becomes very difficult for her to get married. To marry her, the girl’s bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. The helpless parents of such girls are then forced to pay up,” the book says.

‘Perfect Body Shape for a Girl? 36-24-36’

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) physical education textbook declares that “36-24-36” is the ideal shape for women. It further says that a ‘V’ shape is most desirable for men. Though not published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the book is taught to class 12 students in CBSE schools across the country.


‘A Woman's Duty Is to Follow Her Man’

The class 8 textbook of the Rajasthan Education Board contains a chapter on Sant Kanwar Ram, a Sindhi poet who says,

It is the duty of a woman to follow her man.

The chapter further states that the poet bore six children, three each from his two wives.


‘Meat-Eaters Are Criminal Offenders’

Is your non-vegetarian friend a liar?

That’s what a class 6 CBSE textbook said in 2012, declaring non-vegetarians as people who “easily cheat, tell lies, they forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes,” as reported by NDTV.

The book, titled New Healthway: Health, Hygiene, Physiology, Safety, Sex Education, Games and Exercises was printed by S Chand, a reputed publisher. The book also promoted marriage for girls aged between 18 to 25 years. "To get married without a bad name is a dream of every young girl,” it said.


‘Housewives Are Like Donkeys’

In 2006, the Rajasthan Education Board came under fire for comparing a housewife to a donkey, in its class 9 Hindi textbook.

“A donkey is like a housewife. It has to toil all day and, like her, may even have to give up food and water. In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents’ home, you’ll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master,” says the book.

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