36-24-36 sexist text: CBSE files FIR against author, publisher

The case has been filed under Section 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

Taking strong exception to a textbook terming “36-24-36 shape of females to be the best”, the CBSE has filed an FIR against the author and publisher, a board statement said on Saturday.

The case has been filed under Section 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

A portion of the book on health and physical education meant for Class 12 reads: “36-24-36 shape of females is considered to be the best”, which the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) termed “indecent depiction of women and misrepresenting the syllabus prescribed by CBSE”.

Authored by V.K. Sharma and published by Delhi-based New Saraswati House, the book says that “even Miss World and Miss Universe beauty pageants take the 36-24-36 body shape into consideration while judging their contestants”.

There had been outrage after the text book’s contents went viral on social media.

In its clarification, the board said it has not prescribed the book and CBSE neither subscribes nor encourages “irrelevant, sexist or derogatory references to any gender specially women”.

The CBSE said that it does not recommend books by any private publishers to the affiliate schools. The book “Health and Physical Education” of the private publisher has been recommended by the schools themselves and the contents of the book are not compliant with the prescribed CBSE syllabus, said the statement.

The Board has no association with the objectionable contents and indecent references to women in the book authored by Sharma, it stated.

CBSE said the class 12 curriculum of physical education is designed to meet certain objectives which promote health and fitness amongst youth. “The curriculum includes topics among others such as sports and nutrition, yoga and lifestyle, physiology, psychology, training, bio-mechanics and sports etc.,” it said.

The Board also set up a committee, which reviewed the content and said that the book is not in consonance with the spirit of the syllabus and the text in question has no context.

“The publisher and the author have committed criminal misconduct by publishing and selling these books to the students in connivance with some schools. In the process, the publisher has caused wrongful loss of reputation, goodwill and credibility of CBSE,” contended the board.