A chapter in the Physical Education textbook for Class XII written by Dr. V.K.Sharma and published by New Saraswati House says that “best body shape for females” is 36-24-36.
The excerpt has led to a huge blowup on social media with people demanding the text and the textbook to be replaced.
ThIs CBSE book – the Health and Physical Education by Dr. VK Sharma for12th standard says "36-24-36 shape of females is considered the best” pic.twitter.com/l4iIvBKj2j
— Rishi Bagree 🇮🇳 (@rishibagree) April 12, 2017
The book is titled ‘Health and Physical Education’ and is adopted as a textbook in a number of CBSE affiliated schools. CBSE has, however, clarified that it “does not recommend any books by private publishers in its schools” and has hence not recommended this book as well.
Commenting on the issue, CBSE said
Schools are expected to exercise extreme care while selecting books of private publishers and the content must be scrutinized to preclude any objectionable content that hurts the feeling of any class, community, gender, religious group. Schools have to take responsibility of the content of the books prescribed by them.
The pointer titled “Differences in shape” in the textbook ‘Health and Physical Education’ reads
There is a vast difference in the shape of males and females, 36”, 24”, 36” shape of females in considered the best. That is why in Miss World or Miss Universe competitions, such type of shape is also taken into consideration. The “V” shape body in case of males is considered the best.
The author even has the audacity to say that due to the structure of bones in female body, they are not able to run properly.
The book is widely used as the textbook for Physical Examination subject in a number of schools. The publisher, however, has not yet made any official statement on the row.
The text came into spotlight when a student tweeted about the text this Tuesday, a day prior to the board examination for the subject. It is disheartening to see the unawareness of publication houses and teachers of the schools to not notice such a distressing statement about females in general and female athletes in particular.