We’ve been fed lies, misinformation and bulls**t in our textbooks on quite a few occasions. But as kids, little do we know the difference. Heck, some adults still don’t know the difference. I think some of the reasons that we have quite a few errors or misinformation in our textbooks are because of error in translation, misprint, lack of qualification, personal prejudice or just plain good ole stupidity. This isn’t an excuse, rather a pointer in the direction at what needs to be fixed. Here are just a few examples of what school kids study these days.
Looks with a price tag
Class 12 sociology textbooks under the Maharashtra Board states that if an Indian girl is ugly or handicapped, then her parents must pay a higher sum in dowry to compensate for what she lacks. Indian parents have to pay more towards dowry because of reasons such as ugliness and handicapped. It is not inconceivable that people did do this with respect to dowry back in the day, and even today, but that isn’t a solution to the problem. Education and stronger laws protecting against dowry are quintessential.
Schrodinger’s cat. Literally DIY
Class 4 students in several schools in Delhi follow the Our Green World edition for their Environmental studies class. To demonstrate that all living things need air, the students are asked to place a living kitten in an unventilated box and another kitten in a box with holes in it. After a few minutes, the result of the experiment states the kitten in the box without holes has died. Imagine a 9-year-old reading this in his or her textbook. And then trying it. Trauma.
When working women cause unemployment
The Class 10 Social Science textbooks for the State Board of Chhattisgarh states that working Indian women are the reason for unemployment. The reason being more women are being employed in the 21st century and hence, more men are unemployed. And even if women are taking ‘men’s jobs’ (apparently), that is because she is the right woman for the right job (not right man). This edition lasted from 2008 till 2016.
Not Good Looking? Take my money
Physical Education textbooks for class 12 students in Rajasthan state that the characteristics of a good entrepreneur are ‘fair skin’ and ‘good height’. No. Not business acumen, skills, charisma, and expertise. The same book goes on to state that the characteristics a female should aspire for are 36-24-36. Yep. Cause that is the standard set by the Miss India and Universe.
My 50 shades of meat
A book on hygiene and sex education for pre-teens stated that non-vegetarians or meat-eaters easily cheat, tell lies, are dishonest, steal, fight, turn to violence and best of all commit sex crimes. With the amount of meat I’ve eaten till date, it’s surprising that a steak hasn’t lead me to take off all my clothes at a restaurant amounting to Public indecent exposure. This book has been withdrawn since 2013.
To know about the origin of Thugs in India, do continue reading.