Misogyny at its best in CBSE English paper

dharam patni

Passage blames ‘feminist revolt’ for teenage indiscipline.

Content of a reading comprehension passage in a CBSE’s Class 10 English examination, held on Friday: “What people were slow to observe was that the emancipation of the wife destroyed the parents authority over the children…

In bringing the man down from his pedestal the wife and mother deprived herself, in fact, of the means of discipline,” read the conclusion of the passage, which appeared to blame indiscipline among teenagers on a “feminist revolt”.

In contrast, it described a past era when a husband was “master in his own house”, his wife “gave him formal obedience” and “children and servants were in this way taught to know their place”.

Adding insult to injury

A multiple choice question following the passage asked them to characterise the writer. While many offended students said they selected “a male chauvinist pig” as the most appropriate response, the correct answer according to CBSE’s answer key is that the writer “takes a light-hearted approach to life”. Other options included that the writer was “a disgruntled husband” or “has his family’s welfare at heart”.

Responding to the queries, a CBSE spokesperson said the passage had received “mixed reactions” and added that the “matter will be referred to subject experts for considered views as per the pre-set procedures of the Board.” Regarding the answer key, the spokesperson only said that “if the experts opine that the passage elicits multiple interpretations, appropriate action will be taken to protect the interest of the students.”

Will be referred to ‘Subject experts’ for considered views: Subject experts – my foot. Are they experts or RSS pracharaks?

Small mercy

CBSE today dropped the controversial passage from Class 10 English paper amid outrage. So it is dropped only because of outrage. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with the passage.

A few more suggestions to the Sanghi ‘subject experts’ for prescribing in future – Girl students will be allowed to enter the examination centres only if they agree to follow the noble deeds as listed below:

1.Devotion of body, speech and mind to her lord’s (husband’s) feet is the only duty, sacred vow and penance of a woman.
2.Karyeshu Dasi, Karaneshu Manthri, Bhojeshu Mata, Shayaneshu Rambha, Roopeshu Lakshmi, Kshamayeshu Dharitri, Shat dharmayukta, Kuladharma Pathni —Neetisara. (Works like a servant, Advises like a minister, Feeds like a mother, Pleases in bed like the heavenly beauty Rambha, Beautiful like Goddess Lakshmi, Having patience like Earth – Woman who has these six virtues).
3.Everyday morning a woman should touch her husband’s feet and worship.
4.Washing husband’s feet is mandatory.
5.In case of husband’s death, a wife will commit Sati.
6.Agni Pariksha or Virginity Test is a must before the girl students entering the examination centres.

‘Subject experts’ will consult Dinanath Patra and Mohan Bhagwat to prescribe a few more appropriate conditions.

Warning: “Is there a similar verse describing the qualities of an ideal husband?” – Any girl student asking such a stupid question will be permanently debarred from examinations.

Sankara Narayanan, Formerly a construction engineer and contractor, now lives in Erode, TN

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