The horrifying contents of sociology notes at a top Bengaluru college

Students of the college were given photocopies from a book that lists the “advantages” of dowry, according to its “supporters.” The college’s PRO said it was opposed to such “obscurantist and oppressive patriarchal” views.

Dowry has been illegal in India since 1961. (Image for representation)Dowry has been illegal in India since 1961. (Image for representation)


  • St Joseph’s College is conducting an investigation
  • Such views have never been part of the college syllabus: College’s PRO
  • Earlier in ’07, it emerged that a Maharashtra textbook blamed dowry on womens’ ‘ugliness’

“The marriage of ugly girls, who otherwise would have gone without a partner, is made possible by offering (a) heavy amount of dowry.”

Supporters of dowry think it provides this important advantage, says the author who penned the words above. And believe it or not, the page that contains them was photocopied and distributed to undergraduates at a top Bengaluru college.

Dowry has been illegal in India since 1961. The suggestion that the practice helps “ugly girls” find a match isn’t the only one the author attributes to its apologists.

For example, they’re also said to think it is “a useful and effective method” for “attracting good, handsome, and sometimes unwilling boys for marriage.” And that it “may provide self-employment,” “increases the status of women” in the family, and is “an opportunity” for “meritorious boys of poor classes to go for higher education and make their future.”

See for yourself.

Professor Kiran Jeevan, the Public Relations Officer of St. Joseph’s College, said an investigation was under way. He said the college was “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,” his statement read.

Earlier this year, the Maharashtra government ordered a probe when it emerged that a Class XII sociology textbook read by public school students contained the following lines:

“If a girl is ugly and handicapped, then it becomes very difficult for her to get married. To marry such girls, the bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. Parents of such girlsbecome helpless and pay dowry as per the demands of the bridegroom as family.”

This, the book says, “leads to rise in the practice of dowry system.”