Ranga’s Marriage: 10 Issues Over Its Presence In NCERT Syllabus

Ranga's Marriage, Shiv Sangal, Blogging, Snapshots, English , Kannad, Masti Venkatesh Iyengar, NCERT, CBSE
The Story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’ in the book ‘Snapshots’ of class 11 is a stain on the name of radicalism.

A Revolution In Our Education System.
From a few decades, our education has undergone with a number of changes to a great extent; with mindset of students depending on their school’s ambiance and the education. The education further depends on what is taught and what is taught depends on the content in books. In the recent times, many of the NCERT textbooks are being reviewed to eliminate what may be wrong.
The same is the case with Ranga’s Marriage.

UPDATE (19-08-2021) : I wrote this article in February 2018, when I was in 11th standard. I never even imagined that it would go viral. The purpose was simple, an open minded critical analysis of Ranga’s Marriage.

Ranga’s Marriage

I’m an eleventh class student and as a matter of fact, this story was taught to us as a part of our English literature syllabus. This chapter is in our Second book ‘Snapshots’. Ranga’s Marriage is a story written by a Kannada author Masti Venkatesh Ayangar.
Image result for masti venkatesha iyengar, ranga's marriage class 11 ranga's marriage summary,  Shiv Sangal, Ranga's marriage, blogging, Kannad, NCERT, CBSE, Snapshots, summary of ranga's marriage,
MASTI VENKATESH IYENGAR, The author of RANG.A’S MARRIAGE

But this story to a great extent has challenged the modern social structure of our country. This also raises a question of what is being taught in our school and what is being put in the minds of students.

Plot of Ranga’s Marriage

What was Ranga’s idea about marriage?

The Ranga’s Marriage features the story of a young lad Ranga who returns to his village Hosahalli from Bangalore after completing his studies. He’s of a strong belief that his wife should be of his age. But the narrator ‘Shyama’ dislikes the opinion and frames a plan to run an affair between Ranga and his ten year old niece Ratna. They eventually marry and later on Ranga thanks Shyama for getting him married to a ten year old.

Criticism For Ranga’s Marriage

1. Absurdity

The story is quite absurd. A person who is of modern ideas cannot be manipulated in such a way as has been portrayed in the story.

2. Age Old Practices

This story is talking about age-old practices which are no longer relevant in the present era.

3. Promotion of Child Marriage

The narrator tries to run an affair between Ranga and Ratna although Ranga was of no belief about child marriage. In this way, the writer has tried to portray the radical ideas negatively. He has tried to promote child marriage. Moreover Conservatism is supported.

4. Useless Description

The story uses extremely diverse description of the village’s mangoes, ponds, leaves which is really useless. If it were a novel, it could’ve been relevant with the context of the chapter. But, it’s not logical to write one page of useless description in a story of three pages.

5. Unbelievability

The way in which Ratna is described, wearing a grand saree is unbelievable.

UPDATE (19-08-2021) : Why was Ratna wearing a saree?

Why Ratna was wearing a saree is a question that many students asked me in the comments. So I am updating this post here to answer.

A Brief History of Indian Clothing

I was able to resolve this query after doing some more research. Salwar Kameez and Suits that women wear today reached the northwest frontiers of our pre-partitioned nation during the invasion by various Middle Eastern rulers. This is the reason, why, most of the Punjabi women prefer wearing them traditionally. During partition, many Punjabis settled in different parts of India, thus influencing the clothing of those areas wherever they settled eventually.

Earlier, women (even young and unmarried women) wore only sarees. Evidences can be found in various texts, old paintings and even movies up to 1980s. With the introduction of salwar kameez to our culture, wearing sarees got limited to only married women.  There were also no options of western clothing for them in those times.

Sarees have been worn in different ways in different areas. In some areas, they blended into Lehangas and also somewhere into Ghagra Choli.

Earlier, used used a cloth to wrap in place of any blouse, jumper or choli. Similarly, there were untailored versions of petticoats. With the influence of Persians and later on the European colonizers, most of them started opting for tailored blouses, cholis and petticoats.

Traditionally, especially in ancient times, we Indians mostly wore untailored clothes. Let’s understand it better.

What is the men’s traditional attire in India?

Kurta Pajama? No.

Dhoti Kurta? Not Kurta, but Dhoti is.

So yes, Dhoti and Angvastra are the traditional attire of Indian men (typically). Dhoti is a cloth sheet draped as a lower garment. While, Angvastra is a sheet of cloth wrapped as the upper garment. Angvastra is also called Angocha in local language. Look at the pictures on religious texts and sculptures in ancient temples. There you get the answer.

My suggestion is, if you want to know the real history of India, stop knowing it from TV serials. They cook half of the history, and ancient clothing is just an excuse for the actors to show their six pack abs and how well they’ve sculpted themselves at the gyms.

What is the difference between a dhoti and a saree?

In a nutshell, we can get one thing clear, saree and dhoti have come from the same ancestor.

Here, you must understand what is the difference between a dhoti and a saree. A dhoti worn by a woman can be a saree nevertheless. But, most of the sarees women wear today are a product of evolution from dhoti. Earlier, women used to wear saree (or dhoti) to cover their bodies. These days, their bodies are already covered with blouse and petticoat, above which they drape the sarees. Unlike dhotis, many sarees have prints and embroideries. Fall is sewn at the bottom of a saree to prevent it from getting torn. In earlier times, women wore plain sarees and their main emphasis was on wearing jewelry, if they wished to adorn themselves (that too real, not artificial or oxidized, like of modern times). Even today, Indian women collectively have more gold than various central banks of various countries across the world.

Thus, if we imagine the clothing of men and women of ancient India, it must have been the similar cloth but styled in different manners.

6. Deterioration Of Dignity

It is impossible for a full mature adult man to fall in love with a girl of ten. However a man should see other girls as daughters or sisters if younger or mothers if elder. The story crosses it’s limits and deteriorates the dignity of human relations. If a person needs to have a good character he mustn’t read these sort of stories.

7. Vulgarity

It’s extremely vulgar to show a young girl whelping babies.

8. Not up to the mark of literary beauty

Even if all the above stated points are disregarded we must consider that this story isn’t even good from the entire literature’s point of view. In one entire page of the three paged chapter, the author makes use of useless description which disconnects the readers from the plot.

The vocabulary as well as the expressions used are just below ordinary.
UPDATE (19-08-2021) : However, a reason of this might be that, since Iyengar was a Kannada writer and this story was translated from that language itself, maybe, the translator of the story was not very expressive about the literary beauty of the text.

 

9. It’s Twenty-first Century

It’s Twenty-first century man, we don’t need these stories for which the term ad absurdium too may feel less, but those which children might love to read. We need good stories.

There’re so many writers coming up. Why don’t we prefer their stories in our syllabus.

10. Misrepresentation of Indian culture

The way, the narrator bribed and tutored the Astrologer to speak according to him also disregards as well as misrepresents the Indian culture. Indian Astrology is a science. Even then, it is showcased as a superstition or myth in the story.

Even the questions that follow up demanded essay like questions which indirectly expected students to write negative about astrology so as to expect good marks in exams and along this, to be called a so called modern thinker.
This is all rubbish.
 

UPDATE (19-08-2021) : Some questions which were frequently asked in the comments.

What was Ranga’s age in Ranga’s Marriage?

There has been no mention of Ranga’s age in the chapter, Ranga’s marriage. However, we can make some attempts at guessing, predicting or calculating the age of Ranga.

Usually, parents send there children to different cities for higher education or after matriculation. Especially in those times, the villagers didn’t have enough funds for the entire education of their children. So, they got them their primary education from local or nearby schools and for higher and distinct education, they sent them away.

And, in many cases of the history, where men were well educated; they used to be adults. With this regard, we can interpret that Ranga’s age is no less than twenty.

Also, his age is in no way greater than thirty, since an officer, to whom he accorded great respect and also who got married six months before his arrival to Hosahalli; was thirty then, while his wife being twenty six years old. Giving the example of the couple, he concludes that a man should marry a woman he loves. From this, we can interpret that the couple’s was a love marriage. This implies, that both were from the same social circle. Further, chances might be, that Ranga was also a part of that circle.

What social issues are portrayed in Ranga’s Marriage?

The social issue portrayed is, the prevalence of child marriage in pre-independence rural India. Further, how, even the mind of a well educated man was manipulated to provoke him to marry an eleven year old girl.

UPDATE (23-09-2021): What is the moral of Ranga’s Marriage?

This is a question which has an answer but doesn’t deserve to have one.

The moral that this story preaches is that there’s nothing wrong with a man marrying a woman having a wide age difference with him. As per the story, it doesn’t matter to the narrator whether Ratna meets the criteria set by Ranga for his future bride or if both of them have given an informed consent (Ranga might give, but what about Ratna, who is not even in a consenting position?).

All the story tries to portray is that men and women with age differences make up nice couples. Further, the story tries to promote that more than your own preferences, you must be morbidly obedient to your elders.

Why Am I Talking About This?

I ain’t just writing. This chapter was taught in our class in August 2017. At the very moment my mind was stuck in the same quodlibet about the same maladroit story. At home, I tried to read it but I didn’t enjoy it as usual, as the content was really conservative. The next morning, I approached my english teacher and told her that I didn’t find the chapter socially responsible. She calmly told me that she at some point of time felt the same thing. I decided to raise my voice. I wrote a letter to CBSE, from which reply came to contact NCERT. I further contacted NCERT but no reply arrived.
Still what I like about our English teacher is that she supported my query instead of suppressing it.

UPDATE (05-09-2021): What response is expected from the schools?

I’m extremely thankful to my school’s English teachers who’re straightforward while teaching. And yes, I’m making this update on Teacher’s Day. Had they not supported my expression, I wouldn’t have come this far.

CBSE, NCERT or other educational boards can come up with anything in their textbooks. However, if any school or institution or its faculty find anything wrong about it, they’ve the power to take action. They have the power to forward the message to the necessary boards. Even if the boards do not agree, they can cut such chapters from the internal examinations. When more people support the right and protest the wrong, the right action is taken by the responsible authorities.

All the teachers must promote the opinions and expression from their students regardless of what is mainstream.

Let’s Carry The Movement Forward.

Are you a parent, student, educator or any other person? Then you must join hands to carry the movement forward. We must raise our voice so that this chapter could be discarded from the textbooks and a new one be placed in it’s place.
 
I hope you like this post. If yes, then you must share it. Subscribe to this blog and comment what you felt while reading it. Please follow me on other platforms.
 
UPDATE (19-08-2021) : For those, who’re reading about this chapter for the first or who’re not students; they can read the chapter here- https://ncert.nic.in/textbook/pdf/kesp103.pdf  to know how problematic the presence of this chapter in school curriculums actually is.

(UPDATE: 5-11-2021) Answers to another set of frequently asked questions about Ranga’s Marriage.

Questions about this story never cease to exist. So far, I’ve written more about this story than the author himself. Every now and then, I keep on exploring it. You keep on asking, I’ll keep on answering.

Note: This is not supposed to be any source or extension of academic support. The content is for your understanding.

What does the narrator say about Hosahalli?

It is worth knowing how does Shyama (the narrator) speaks of his village. The narrator uses analogies to tell the readers about the significance of Hosahalli. He writes that what the state of Mysore is to the Bharatvarsha, the sweet Karigadabu is to the festive meal; similarly, Hosahalli is to the state of Mysore as what is the filling is to the Karigadabu sweet.

The narrator also writes about the quality of the mangoes that grow on some of the mango trees of the village. They’re extremely sour. He recounts an incident, where they ate the chutney made of those mangoes and suffered a terrible cough there on.

Finally, he also tells about a creeper growing on in the village pond whose leaves were used by the villagers to serve their meals.

Why is the village Hosahalli unknown to the world according to the narrator?

The narrator described in the story that the Englishmen were not familiar with the remote locations of the country. Following this, the urban Indian population apes them blindly. Hence, even Indian geographers did not mention anything about Hosahalli anywhere. Because of this, no cartographer recorded Hosahalli in any map.

After reading “Ranga’s marriage”, who (according to you) played a major role in Ranga and Ratna’s marriage?

No doubt, Shyama, the narrator, played a great role in fixing a marriage between Ranga and Ratna. He asked Ratna to fetch milk from his home while he had already called on Ranga alongside. He also taught the Shastri about what he should say.

How did Ranga come to see Ratna? What was the result of the first encounter of Ranga?

Shyama told Rama Rao that he would give him buttermilk which Ratna can come on Friday to fetch from his home. On the other hand, he also called Ranga. Ratna came wearing a saree and on Shyama’s request started singing the song ‘Krishnamurty, in front of my eyes‘.

As soon as Ranga appeared on the threshold, Ratna grew shy of him. This event wooed Ranga’s mind. 

What kind of a person is the narrator of the chapter “Ranga’s marriage”?

Shyama was a clever yet a benevolent person of the story who knew how to do and get things done. He played a major role in fixing a marriage between Ranga and Ratna. He was also somewhat a fatherly figure to both.

how does the narrator speak of ranga’s character?

Based on Ranga’s belief system, narrator speaks that he feels sorry that a man who can be a good husband has decided to remain a bachelor.

Why did the narrator (Shyama) call Ranga and Ratna a childish couple?

The narrator called Ranga and Ratna a childish couple because they kept their son’s name Shyama after him. The narrator knew that as per the English customs, parents keep their children’s names after the people they like and love.

 

Ranga’s Marriage: Putting it in the context of 2022

It was important for me to share my opinion about the latest issue that the age bar of women for marriage has been raised from 18 to 21. And that too, without any reason.

I strongly disagree with such a law. This is because, 18 is an age of consent. If a woman can drink, smoke, vote, indulge in an intercourse, get into a live-in relationship, then what is actually wrong with a marriage?

Let’s put science here. Fertility levels of women are at peaks in the age ranges of 18-25.

Would it encourage more women to pursue higher education?

Yes, we should promote education , but not force it on anyone. If any person is not interested in going to college, we should not create any issue about it.

There are many parents who educate their children by making both ends meet, but it is not of their caliber to afford higher education. Who would help them?

This law would be less helpful in stopping forced marriages, but in the long run, it would prove to be a coercion of not marrying when you want.

What would be the implications?

Way serious than we can imagine. All the activities which are illegitimate to be committed before marriage would be normalized. Abortions would be promoted. And this is sufficient to prove, where we are heading to.

We are already witnessing how the dating culture is hollowing up our traditional values. Young men and women are having the lowest fertility levels of the history. They’re the least emotional because of considering too many options. And dating among teens is a dirty pick and ditch thing.

Many parents, finding their child indulging in any relationship, ask them to get engaged so as to be serious about it. This is about adding legitimacy to the relation.

What should be done?

Either, the legal marriage age should be reduced to 18 or if it is maintained at 21 ; then the age for conjugal consent and explicit content should also be limited up to that limit, so as to protect the society. We should neither promote nor support Degeneracy at any rate.

What is wrong about child marriage and what is not?

Many of our ancestors married in their teenagers and were healthy parents. Hence, if they are healthy, the biological excuse doesn’t make sense.

Talking about those who married in early childhood, they did not consummate their marriages before they reached puberty. A ritual of Gauna was observed then.

There are still many countries (even developed) where under 18 marriages are allowed. Even in India, until 1978, the SARDA ACT allowed the minimum age of women for marriage as 15 and for men as 18.

Hence, our ancestors can not be labelled as pedophiles. We have sufficient evidences that they educated their children as well.

What should be done to protect children from degeneracy?

We need to bring some serious revolution to our education system first things first. Our education system teaches trash to children and the biggest of all, it glorifies the invaders and their culture. Once children reach the teenage, they start committing themselves in relationship.

Separate schools for boys and girls

What we can do is that we can have separate schools for boys and girls. Many people are brainwashed into thinking that co-ed schooling is modernity. Really? Now count the benefits it offers or the differences it makes.

We need equality in Genders, but it doesn’t mean shifting from polarity. Polarity is equally important. With schools and colleges for men, we would have stronger and more masculine men. With schools and colleges solely for women, we would have responsible and graceful women. Further, we can save the children from lusts and desires at an early age.

Even if we don’t implement it in colleges, we can do it at least in schools. They’re too young to make their life decisions.

Absolute Authority of Parents

Parents are the one who should have the absolute authority of their children. No college, school or teacher should have more authority over the lives of children than their parents. Whoever, takes the authority of the parents makes the child suffer.

I can personally testify this. Many young boys and girls cry ‘freedom’ when their parents put restrictions on them, but wouldn’t mind being dominated or restricted by their boyfriends, girlfriends or spouses. Who would have a better hold of them? You tell me.

If parents have authority, they can stand up for their children against the abuse by the school, teacher or any other person. Who, in the absence of parents can do this effectively. Siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts or any other guardian can do this, but they have their own lives to be selfish about even if they’re majorly concerned about that particular child. They cannot offer their cent per cent.

We have so many issues where parents need to stand up today. Trash stuff is being forced into the minds of young ones, they’re getting into relationships, catching wrong habits or are facing certain issues.

With a big authority being put on the shoulders of parents, they must also be responsible enough. Rather than being ignorant or lazy watching TV, they should be their ward’s ideal.

I was not allowed to hang out, eat fast food or go travelling when I was in school. Today, I’m thankful, because this was by my parents. I do not have any habit of eating junk food, wake up early and have rituals to follow. I don’t go just anywhere out there, I have some priorities.

Traditional Schooling

I don’t find a point where the Macaulay’s education system is leading us. A distant cousin of mine commented that the so called ‘modern’ education has brought development to India. I asked her, “Sister, wow! The Macaulay education system brought development? You must have developed an aircraft while you were in school. Show me.” Her facial expressions were worth noticing.

There is nothing concrete that the modern education system has given us. Talking about development, we already were developed.

Even after this, you want development, you can have this in your college time. In the school level education system, there’s nothing scientific. Or the modern educations subjects can be adjusted in a traditional school.

I know a brahmin boy four years younger than me and he is such a prodigy. He speaks Dharapravah Sanskrit and Native Hindi. Alongside, he knows English as well. All this, while studying in a Gurukul. Students of a Gurukul are way more talented.

There’s an entire system of Vangmay in Sanskrit.

29 thoughts on “Ranga’s Marriage: 10 Issues Over Its Presence In NCERT Syllabus”

  1. I agree with you 100%
    This chapter is very disturbing and I don't see how CBSE feels comfortable with having it in a 11th grader's textbook. I understand that this chapter can give space to creat dialogue against child marriage in a classroom if the teacher is vigilant enough but that it usually not the case. So this chapter backfires and instead normalizes pedophilia. This is utterly hideous and disgusting.

  2. I got the courage to initiate action from my side because our english teacher used to teach with an open mind and encouraged discussion. At the time of my turn of discussion, I simply expressed my dissatisfaction. That's from where the revolt began.

  3. You may be correct in your way. You can criticize the story as different people will be having different perspective on the story. But don't criticize his literature skills as he got Jnanapeetha award in 1983 and I think you need another birth to get Jnanapeetha award. It is the mistake of NCERT not of the author and this story was published at 1910 so he narrates it accordingly. So get some information before criticizing anyone. At the last it is KANNADA not KANNAD. From this mistake only I can judge your childish behavior and please grow up.

    1. But he is right the story is off the point, Quiet boring and SUPPORTS CHILD MARRIAGE. You are supporting the author just because you are KANNADA

      1. I agree. This is completely idiocy. The girl is 11 for god sake. And she wears a sari.
        This is disgusting. What kind of lesson is this?
        What is the moral? Child marriage? And she changes diapers of babies at 11? This is total crap.
        This story is a total mess. At 11 years how can a child be mother? She is a kid.

        This lesson must be taken out of the NCERT book. This is nonsense. How on earth can a little girl get married to a 18 year boy?
        This is abuse. I am totally crap. This story supports child marriage. This story should be taken out of portions.
        Hell yeah. It should be taken out of syllabus.

  4. And in Goodreads you only rate your book to get good rating and you are criticizing the literature skills of a Jnanapeetha award winner. May be in your way rating our own books is the culture of 21st century you cheater. Super and mind boggling😂😂😂. And please grow up it's my humble request 🙏.

  5. I disagree with you in many aspects.
    Firstly, you just assumed that the chapter promotes the concept of 'Child Marriage'. Which is way far from reality. This chapter is in class 11th literature book. Not in 5th. And I'm pretty sure that we had already been familiar with the concept of Child Marriage and how it is wrong and totally against law and human rights. On top of that.. I don't think knowing about an incident makes you follow it further. And it's pretty obvious that none of us would end up repeating the act in future.
    Also, I believe you didn't really get the intention to put this story in our syllabus. It just appeared to be a bit inappropriate to you and you felt the need to declare that it shouldn't be in our syllabus. And I'd like to mention that removing a crucial part of our history doesn't mean that we'll save our 'young minds' from realising what terrible practices were in trend in our society.
    'Good stories' are indeed necessary. But completely ignoring the ones which can teach and aware us about the past or present day social reality is nothing but stupid.
    We still have this thing being done in many parts of our country. And I certainly believe that only the authorities are not responsible to eliminate this. But we, as citizens are equally responsible !

    1. If none of us will end up like that, why are we being taught it? This chapter has low key pedo vibes. It misrepresents our cultures and like Merchant of venice promotes wrong topics like racism and child marriage.

      1. exactly, there are many great stories out there, they could easily include something that doesn’t include something like child marriage

    2. We as citizens? literally? are you kidding? people like you need to realize that authorities PUBLISH this chapter, they INCLUDED it, WE never wanted it.
      and becoming aware of the past, then why not include sati? why not slavery in its finest form, or why not have the guts to include the wrongs done by our own ministers?
      There are many other issues that could have used the spot apart from ranga’s marriage, there are even chapters that direct child marriage, in a better form, and maybe showing that an 11 yr old marrying an older man and him expecting children? maybe that’s pedophilia.
      so why don’t you open your eyes and realise that it affects the young minds, and just saying child marriage is wrong and then going ahead including a chapter that doesn’t even see it as a problem is wrong.

  6. I don't see how it 'normalizes' pedophilia.. I believe we all grew up learning that how child marriage is wrong and only a story of one incident can't make us believe that it's right.

    1. hey its not about normalizing pedophile culture. the fact that we’ve been told its wrong is a good thing and it wont indulge us but if it were written in a negative way, explicitly telling us how wrong it is, then it would be acceptable. ultimately like ‘guest’ said, there are way better themes and stories that could be explored instead of this.

    2. Do you even know the meaning of normalizing, it literally means subtly putting a problematic topic and showing no known objection, in Ranga’s Marriage, nowhere in the whole chapter mentioned that anyone even noticed that she is 11. It is not about it making it right it is about the chapter not even validating it or telling that it is a problem. And if you don’t understand that. Might just stay in NCERT.

  7. You have right to critised but not talk about NCERT there is a group of educated teams who are very intelligent than ours and very well know about which children learn things….this chapter is in class 11 students….in class 11 the students are mature enough……

    1. The maturity of the content is yet to be decided, but let’s first focus on the fact that you had the audacity to absurdly mention the ‘group of very intelligent persons’ did you know that this group was graduated from CBSE more than 25yrs ago? Do you honestly think that nothing might have changed? And if these people are smart enough then why are they not focusing on real problems like lack of lgbt+ recognition? The whole idea of pasting age-old literature in the nationwide books is highly problematic, it is about time you realize that we are not criticizing we are pointing out a problem.

  8. shiv sangal , pls dont bother others if u can write stories try to write one and you aren't suppose to criticize others.
    pls appreciate others than demoting them.
    by regards
    the unknown (me)

    1. I agree but here we are not criticizing, no that would mean we are rating the chapter. Here we are telling you the problem. There Is a difference, and we will see that difference when you next time writes a comment.
      by no regards.
      i use my name.

  9. Criticising something is different from writing something. Just because a chef works at a 7 star restraunt the chef should not serve dishes equal quality to that of a local dhaba. I don't care about the authors origin but if you tell the english version of this story is good by all means please seek help, the original language (Kannada in this case) may be a good story by using some rhyming schemes or some creative use of the language but still the english translation is soo boring I slept off in class trying to complete it, I did not understand anything because of the discardable descriptions the author used which may have led me to miss out the important points of the chapter, hell I did not even know the gender of the narrator until I read the brainly summary (today). I do question ncert's lesson selections such as the 10th standard's english lesson virtually true which felt a bit lackluster in reading but that's another discussion for another time.

  10. The writing skills are not the main concern in this utter nonsense chapter. The collective work of an author cannot be used to hide and justify such a horrible error. No matter how many awards he wins, the fact is that THIS STORY NORMALISES PEDOPHILIA.
    The mere lines, "It was Friday so she(ratna) was wearing a grand saree", given the fact that Ratna is ELEVEN years old, are enough to display how messed up the threshold of this chapter is.
    If you think that the chapter is ethically right considering the time period when it was written, then you, my friend, are a CONSERVATIVE.

  11. The same thing is taught to village students too and at some villages these practices still occur and its not helping in promoting awareness in those regions. so it is idiotic to not even write a disclaimer that this is bad or that this happened in past. Bad an ncert’s part.

  12. The story depicts the social norms followed in 1910. While reading a piece of literature, we must consider the time period when it was written. The writing style of the author is quite humorous. At many places, he sounds mocking the social practices prevalent those days. The character of Ranga is a good portrayal of those people who talk big but do not stick to it. Moreover, in 1910, when kids were married off at the tender age of 5-7 years, eleven years was not considered to be so young. So, I feel this story should be read with these things in mind.

    I am a teacher of English and I personally do not like this story. Moreover, because of my name, I find it difficult to teach it too. But, I have learnt to keep my mind open and analyse critically. So, now I teach the chapter as a portrayal of society in 1910. I also ask my students to contrast it with the present days’ society.

  13. I completely agree. A truly disgusting chapter. It promotes child marriage and the first 2 pages are nonsense of the old man making aachar out of mangoes. I mean, who tf cares? It’s a very outdated and useless chapter in our times

  14. Sanjana Yoganand

    I am completely in accordance with all your points. I am a 11th grader this current year and we have not yet come to this lesson as per the Action Plan. I was just reading the story for fun today and as I read it, I, as an advent feminist, found this highly disturbing and vulgar. As soon I was done with the lesson, I came to google the age of Ranga as it wasn’t mentioned in the reader and only then did I come across this website and was thoroughly thankful that many others shared this utter repulsion towards this nonsensical lesson.
    I couldn’t go through with a single paragraph without bursting into a culmination of rage and annoyance. Every part of this lesson is stupid to the point of absurdity. Firstly, as you said, the language used in the story is not up to the mark. The author maybe an award winner, but as of the development of English language and literature in the 21st century, his English is fine at the best.

    But the main issue with this lesson, surpassing it’s language and vocabulary is the moral it’s imparting. I was thoroughly disturbed and scarred because of this lesson. The way the narrator tries to justify child marriage would definitely leave an impact in the minds of children.
    The girl, Ratna is ELEVEN! It’s quite stupid that she even wears a saari. The fact that an 18-19 year old boy is sexually attracted to a 11 year old child is just purely repulsive. As you said, it degrades the loveliness of day to day relations.

    In the talk of pedophilia, we shall not forget that the narrator was a bit rude and insulting towards the other characters. The so-called humour in this story is just him insulting people. There was also the line, “The janewara is still there. He hasn’t lost his caste.” This is also very conservative and narrow minded. It talks about the importance of caste system but in truth, caste system is one among the social evils suppressing our nation. We do not need these values getting embedded in the minds of the future generation and retarding our country’s advancement.

    I do not like the implications of the line, “get married….and be of service to the society.” What, they think being an unmarried person is a disgrace to society? If I am correct, Abdul Kalam hadn’t married. The forceful pushing for marriage by the narrator is very absurd.

    I get it, the story was set in 1910, that totally does NOT make it any less repulsive or conservative. Fine, great, it was a pointless story written in 1910, let it stay in some corner of the world of literature but WHY was it adapted into the curriculum of grade 11? It was very immature of NCERT and CBSE. It wasn’t even removed along with the omitted portions as of Covid 19 situation.

    Any book a child, teenager, even an adult reads affects and influences the person. What values is this lesson imparting? Child marriage? A lesson that basically talks and not just talks but also justifies, encourages and cherishes about something that is illegal?

    Also the point that, at such an young age, the girl– Ratna had had a child and was also pregnant for the second time is too revolting to even let the mind linger. I really, really hope and wish this lesson is taken off from our syllabus.

    1. Exactly! I was also in rage when I read this chapter and my english teacher had the audacity to tell us that ‘You’re all just 16 years old you shouldn’t be worrying about this lesson’. What the hell?

  15. Pingback: How To Get Your Book Reviewed by Shiv Sangal? - shivsangal.in

  16. I concur. First time I read this it was so disgusting that I was genuinely puzzled. I forgot about it soon, but after a few days it hit me. Why is this chapter even allowed legally? It is way too messed up and teaches wrong things. The story is in support of the 28 year old man having babies with a 11 year old girl and living “happily ever after”. There are several other things wrong in this story too but this is the major problem.

  17. Finally….Atlast someone said it….
    Ranga is said to be a girl of age 11 and he is surely above 30.I agree to the fact that someone wrote a story like this..But giving this as a part of syllabus in class 11 English is really stupid

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »