U for ugly: Bengal school book calls dark people ugly, parents protest
Parents of a primary school in Burdwan district of West Bengal staged a protest against an illustration calling a dark skinned person ugly.
The illustration describes letter 'U' as 'Ugly' with a person of dark complexion in the picture.
Parents raised their voice in protest against the usage of an image of a black person as an illustration to explain the word ‘ugly’ under the letter ‘U’ in children’s curriculum books on alphabet and words.
This is the book of the pre-primary department of the government aided school Municipal Girls High School located in Burdwan city of East Burdwan district of West Bengal.
This comes at a time when the world, especially the US, has been rocked by anti-racism protests after the death of a black man George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, US.
Sudip Majumdar, a teacher of Kolkata Bangbasi (Evening) College, said, “My daughter is studying in this Municipal Girls High School. I came across this subject while teaching my daughter. It is completely wrong to educate children by calling a black person ugly in this way."
"This book should be withdrawn soon. In any case, the education being given to children in the name of blacks will work to fill their tender hearts with inferiority complexes and discriminate against blacks. This is wrong,” he added.
Swapan Kumar Dutt, District Inspector of School Primary Education, refused to comment on the matter initially. However, he later said that such education is not right.
“This kind of book is not an official book given by the school. We will still talk to the school about it. If needed the book should be changed.” said the district inspector.