Replace or modify story that ‘normalises violent masculinity’: DCPCR writes to NCERT


Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) chairperson Anurag Kundu has written to the NCERT flagging concerns that a story included in its class IX English curriculum “normalises violent masculinity, perpetuates patriarchy and promotes toxic behaviour in the family”.

The child rights body has raised concerns about a chapter entitled “The Little Girl” in its class IX English textbook, and has stated that the body consulted gender experts and came to the conclusion that the chapter is “deeply problematic”.

The story is about a young girl Kezia who is terrified of her domineering father. When his birthday approaches, her grandmother asks her to make him a gift and she makes a pincushion. Later, the family finds out that she accidentally tore a speech her father was scheduled to deliver to use as stuffing for the pincushion. When her father finds out, he strikes her as punishment. Later, when Kezia observes her father sleeping, she realised that he works too hard and is too tired which is why he does not play with her and is frequently angry.

“It teaches children to accept the violence at home because the father works ‘too hard’. The father is so violent that the young girl who speaks finely with everyone else starts to stutter in front of him… The ‘Before You Read’ section of the chapter argues that with time the story is ‘a little girl whose feelings for her father will probably find an echo in every home’. It essentially means that once we understand the ‘why’ of the violence, it becomes acceptable,” stated Kundu in his letter.

He has gone on to request that the chapter either be modified or be replaced from the textbook from the next academic session onwards.


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