The Delhi Commission For Protection of Child Rights has asked NCERT to modify or replace a chapter in Class IX English textbook, claiming that it normalises “violent masculinity, depicts women in “stereotypical ways and teaches children to accept violence at home”.
The panel’s chief Anurag Kundu said the chapter titled ‘The Little Girl’ narrates the story of a girl Kezia, who is scared of her father and is constantly threatened by him to a point that it starts impacting her speech.
Later in a tweet, Kundu wrote, “I have written to @ncert Director advising removal of the chapter 3 titled “The Little Girl” of class IX English textbook as it normalises violent masculinity, perpetuates patriarchy and promotes toxic behaviour in the family.” No immediate reaction was available from the NCERT.
I have written to @ncert Director advising removal of the chapter 3 titled “The Little Girl” of class IX English textbook as it normalises violent masculinity, perpetuates patriarchy and promotes toxic behaviour in the family. Three concerns: pic.twitter.com/YNuGOhYODm
— Anurag Kundu (@AnuragKunduAK) November 23, 2022
According to the story, Kezia’s grandmother asks her to prepare a gift for her father as his birthday is around the corner. She prepares a pin cushion, but stuffs it with papers which contain a speech her father is supposed to deliver at an event.
On finding this out, the father beats her up, but the grandmother asks her to forget the incident.
In the night, while sleeping beside her father, Kezia “realises” that the father works too hard to be playing with her, and that explains him getting angry frequently. She forgets about the incident and forgives him, the DCPCR said.
The panel said it consulted gender experts over the chapter and concluded that “it is deeply problematic”.
It said Kezia’s grandmother and mother are shown in stereotypical ways.