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.

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.
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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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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17 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

  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

  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.

  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……

  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)

  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

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