Old Bengaluru College Circular on ‘Advantages of Dowry’ Resurfaces
While the study material is indeed true, it was not issued by the Gujarat Education Board.
A page from study material which talks about the ‘Advantages of Dowry’ is being circulated on Twitter, with various people claiming the page is from a social science book prescribed by the Gujarat Education Board.
The circular has also been shared by Indian film director Kavitha Lankesh. At the time of writing the story, the tweet had garnered more than 500 retweets and likes.
An archived version of the tweet can be seen here. The same circular has been shared by many other users on Twitter.
TRUE OR FALSE?
While the study material is indeed true, it was not issued by the Gujarat Education Board. It was, in fact, distributed by a college in Bengaluru in 2017.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We looked the same up using the key words ‘Advantages of dowry’ and came across an article published by The Times of India on 21 October 2017, which spoke about the study material in question.
According to the article, a Bengaluru college had distributed the study material to a batch of 60 students enrolled in Sociology at St Joseph's College. While it spoke about ‘dowry menace’, it went on to enumerate the ‘advantages of dowry’ as they are argued by proponents of the practice.
The study material begins innocuously enough and calls dowry an evil practice, but goes on to say, “The marriage of ugly girls who would otherwise have gone without a partner is made possible by offering heavy amount of dowry.”
According to another report by The News Minute from 2017, the college had refuted the claim saying that the institution doesn’t hand out study material to students. However, in a statement, the college later said,
“The matter is being investigated and we are trying to find the root of the problem. 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.”
However, the news portal spoke to students of the college, who had a different account to share. They said they had been given the notes and hand-outs as study material by their professors.
The Quint has reached out to St Joseph's College to know more about their investigation. This copy will be updated if and when they respond.
(With inputs from The Times of India and The News Minute)
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