Amravati university history books describe ritual to conceive boy child

Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By
May 28, 2017 08:07 AM IST

The Marathi book, Bhartacha Itihas (Indian History), describes the conceiving ritual in a chapter on social development or ‘Samajik Vikas’, under the subhead Sanskar or values.

The ritual to conceive a male child and how the caste system “protects Hindu culture” are lessons from a history textbook listed as reference material by the Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University for its BA students.

The Marathi book, Bhartacha Itihas (Indian History), describes the conceiving ritual in a chapter on social development or ‘Samajik Vikas’, under the subhead Sanskar or values.(File Photo)
The Marathi book, Bhartacha Itihas (Indian History), describes the conceiving ritual in a chapter on social development or ‘Samajik Vikas’, under the subhead Sanskar or values.(File Photo)

The Marathi book, Bhartacha Itihas (Indian History), describes the conceiving ritual in a chapter on social development or ‘Samajik Vikas’, under the subhead Sanskar or values.

That the book had such a passage was revealed after Suresh Borhade, an Ahmednagar activist, lodged a complaint with the additional director of health services, saying the passage violated the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, that states female foeticide and prenatal sex determination are crimes.

Dr Archana Patil, the additional director of health services at the state family welfare office in Pune, has now asked the Amravati district surgeon to act against the university’s registrar. “Describing the ritual, publishing it and then making it available for public, prima facie, seems to be a violation of the Act,” said the letter signed by Dr Patil.

In another chapter on the caste system, titled Varnayavastha, the book talks about how the system protected ”Hindu culture” from foreign invaders and contributed to the development of skills. It said the absence of intercaste marriages has “helped preserve the purity of blood”.

A few weeks earlier, a third-year Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery (BAMS) textbook was also flagged for teaching techniques to conceive a boy. Dr Asaram Khade, the Maharashtra PCPNDT Act consultant, had written to the joint secretary, public health, Government of India, regarding the supposed violation of the PCPNDT Act in the syllabus. Although the history book wasn’t published by the University, it is listed as a reference book. “It’s unsettling to know that a university named after a great social reformer is endorsing such a text,” said Borhade. The university is yet to pull the book out from the list.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Musab Qazi is a Trainee Correspondent, covering education. He generally writes about higher education policies in Maharashtra and new trends in the education sector.

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