Textbook tells students to write emails as short as skirts, sparks controversy
A BCom (Honours) textbook advising students to write emails short enough to be interesting like skirts has created an outrage.
The book ‘Basic Business Communication’ has been authored by CB Gupta, a former head of the commerce department of a Delhi University-affiliated college.
The textbook is widely prescribed by professors to the students of BCom (Honours) in most DU-affiliated colleges.
The book, which has been in print since over a decade, said, “Email messages should be like skirts--short enough to be interesting and long enough to cover all the vital points.”
A student, who did not want to be named, said, “Some students from socially and economically weaker sections have a tendency to memorise everything written in the textbooks, without realising that such analogies may legitimise casual sexism in our society.”
“Thankfully, we are able to realise and question the reliability of such textbooks in our course. Why didn’t anyone question this statement in this book which is being reprinted since years?” she asked.
Now, a septuagenarian, professor CB Gupta expressed regret for hurting people’s sentiments and said that the analogy was taken from an article by a foreign author.
“I have already deleted the statement from my book. I will also advise the publisher to remove the content before publishing a latest edition,” Gupta said.
To a question on why such an analogy was made, he said, it was a mistake on his part and he had taken the analogy from an article of a foreign author.
“It was not to hurt anyone. I took the analogy from an article written by a foreign author,” Gupta said.
Recently, a class 12 physical education textbook defining 36-24-36 as the “best body shape for females” had created an outrage on social media with critics demanding that it be withdrawn.
In another instance, a book which forms part of the Delhi University’s history curriculum had called Bhagat Singh a “revolutionary terrorist”, prompting the freedom fighter’s family to raise the issue with university authorities as well as the HRD ministry.
“A textbook should be neutral and provide balanced viewpoints and leave the rest to the student to form an opinion. Such controversies will create more awareness among textbook authors,” said a DU professor who wished to remain anonymous.
The Madras High Court had directed the CBSE to remove alleged objectionable content in Class 9 social science textbook about the Nadar community.