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  Entertainment   Bollywood  23 Sep 2018  Course Correction: Be Gender neutral

Course Correction: Be Gender neutral

Published : Sep 23, 2018, 1:22 am IST
Updated : Sep 24, 2018, 11:19 pm IST

A Bhopal university has come under fire for introducing an ‘Adarsh Bahu’ course to teach women to keep families together.

A still from Vivah directed by Sooraj Barjatya, whose movies deliver moralistic preaches about ideal families and traditional values
 A still from Vivah directed by Sooraj Barjatya, whose movies deliver moralistic preaches about ideal families and traditional values

Bhopal’s Barkatullah University has found itself in the middle of controversy, all thanks to a new course. Plans are afoot to introduce an ‘Adarsh Bahu’ certification course. As the name suggests, the proposed three-month-long course prepares girls to adjust to the new family after marriage.

According to Prof D.C. Gupta, this course is offered as part of women empowerment and the university’s responsibility towards society. Its ultimate aim seems to be to create brides who will keep families together. The course is expected to commence by next academic year in the departments of sociology, psychology and women’s studies as a pilot project. The University plans to admit 30 girls in the first batch.


For many, this course is a hard pill to swallow. People have lashed out at the idea of exclusively training girls to run successful families.

Youngsters, parents and academicians across the country air their opinion on the ‘Adarsh Bahu’ certification course.

It’s blasphemy Mahamaya Mojumder, homemaker
The concept of this course is absolute blasphemy. First of all, it is understandable that an individual may need some counselling before getting married because there is a tectonic shift in your lifestyle. But your parents are usually the best counsellors in such a scenario. They are the ones who understand what kind of support you will need, instead of some three-month bookish course to teach you life skills. Secondly, why is the course only for girls? Women are not the only ones who are a part of a marriage. It needs to be a symbiotic relationship between two individuals and how they adjust 'with' each other instead of 'for' one person in the relationship.


A primitive move Saranya, service provider, Govt Snehitha Gender Help Desk
Do we really need a course to teach us how to be an ideal daughter-in-law? How can a piece of paper or a certificate rate us on how good we are? How do we define the concept of ‘Adarsh Bahu’? The move to make it a certificate course is itself one of the most absurd ideas that have popped up recently. Universities are apex academic institutions and this move is shocking. The university authorities claim their objective is positive and this is a part of women empowerment, but it is not. This course is a step back and towards the primitive.

Pressure to be perfect Sonu Venu Gopal,YouTuber, feminist
‘Training before marriage’ has been happening for a long time. With this course, there will be a physical certificate that you can use to decorate the wall. Before you jump the gun, I am being sarcastic. I have two issues — the need for training and the training being gender specific. Marriage is a partnership, which means the boy and the girl are in it completely with all their senses intact (hopefully!). This course is a result of the societal pressure to be perfect and marriage is anything but perfect! The idea of a perfect marriage is to be happy and not perfect!


Good initiative Sunmita Shinde Arun, school
Real education will allow a person to think intensively and critically. It will lay a strong foundation to build both character and intelligence. It has to be open for all and not limited. Moreover, it has to be constantly evolving and dynamic. The 'Adarsh Bahu' course is a good initiative by Barkatullah University. We must welcome more such initiatives for men also. A good and civil society can be built through such an enterprise. Kudos to the first biggest step.

Shared responsibility Bhavya Soni, Management Professor
The proposed course by Barkatullah University, Bhopal, is a classic example of our stereotypical definition of daughters-in-law. These stereotypes are so engraved in our thought processes that they seem too obvious at times. The rationale of this course as stated is to stop families from breaking away. But the responsibility of keeping a family together is a shared one and everyone is 100 per cent responsible for it. Then why only ‘Adarsh Bahu’?


Reinforcing prejudices Dhrupad Suri, Parent
The conceptualisation of such a senseless course only reinforces the age-old thought of women being the weaker sex. It also throws light on the preconceived notions of certain members of society who believe that only women are to be blamed for a failed marriage. If there really needs to be a course for 'Adarsh Bahu', they might as well have a course for 'Adarsh Pati' keeping in mind we have a pretty high domestic violence rate in India. As a father of a girl child, I can only say that if you really need to empower women, teach them to respect themselves. Teach them their rights and educate them so they can stand tall.


life lessons needed for both Gautam Sankar, analyst
It's hard to comment on this initiative without knowing the actual content or the exercises done as part of the ‘course’. But it’s worth pointing out that keeping the course exclusive to girls would immediately make the initiative sound as archaic as it could possibly be. Both genders could do well with a bit of ‘life lessons’ to get them warmed-up for married life. This initiative is missing this basic point.

Tags: barkatullah university, counsellors, adarsh bahu