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Home > News > Report

Anti-dowry icon Nisha in school textbooks

Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi | October 21, 2004 18:26 IST

The students of Delhi schools will get to read the story of Nisha Sharma, who became an overnight star after gettingher bridegroom arrested for demanding more dowry.

The State Council of Educational Research and Training, which prepares school curricula and textbooks and conducts exams for the schools run by the Delhi government,has published the Nisha episode as a short story in class VI English textbooks.

The chapter titled "Man in Jail Over Dowry Demand" tells students how Nisha took an exemplary step by calling policemen and getting her bridegroom Munish Dalal arrested minutes before her wedding.The story encourages students to condemn the dowry system.

Expressing her pleasure, Nisha told "It is really good if people take inspiration from my life. Dowry is a big problem in our society."

Theincident occurred in May, 2003. The Dalals were booked under the Dowry Prohibition Act, which is a non-bailable offence. Munish Dalal and his mother Vidya Dalal were arrested and released after three months on a court order. The case is pending in a Delhi court.

The Dalals had demanded Rs12 lakh fromthegirl'sfather on the wedding night. Munish refused to marry Nisha without getting the amount. This was apart from the Rs 15 lakh already given by her father before the wedding day. When the Dalals misbehaved withher father on the issue,Nisha called the police and got them arrested. The rest is history, as they say.

Nisha rose to stardom as national and international media rallied behind her for her commendable act. She received several awards from voluntary groups.

Nisha, who then lived in Delhi's satellite town of Noida, is now married to an engineer in Delhi.

The SCERT is promoting Nisha's story as a milestone inIndia's bid to abolish dowry system. An ancient Indian tradition, dowry is officially banned in India.

But Nisha's story will face a few bottlenecks before students finally get to read it.

The circulation of the books has been stopped for the time being and officials are not talkingabout it. The book was published in the middle of the session, which, however, is not the reason for halting the textbooks.

Munish Dalal's mother Vidya Dalal filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking a defamation case against the SCERT for publishing the story. Vidya claimed that,pending a court ruling on the matter, SCERT should not have published the storyin textbooks.A person charged with crime should be considered accused and not guilty till a judgment is passed, she said.

In her petition Dalal said the Vikaspuri police station in Delhi refused to lodgea defamation complaint against SCERT. The court has asked Delhi police why it didnot entertain Dalal's complaint. The case will come up for hearing on November 5.

The petitioner claimed that the publication of the story was a cognizable offence under The Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act, 1956.

Her lawyer, Roopesh Kumar Sharma, said the acthas been framedto protect young minds from being introduced to "harmful" literature. The law aims to restrict young people from being exposed to stories portraying offences, acts of violence or cruelty, or incidents of a repulsive or horrible nature.

An official of SCERT refused to comment as the matter was sub judice.

More reports from Delhi
Read about: Assembly Election 2003 | Attack on Parliament

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Number of User Comments: 8

Sub: Helpline for Men Battered by Ultra-Nishas in Bangalore !!

Since last one year, there is a Helpline (91-80-56969850) in Bangalore for distressed men and their family members. It receives about 20 calls in a ...

Posted by Couting Ultra-Nishas

Sub: Is Nisha An Icon

It is a sickening decision to include Nisha story in school texts.Time was there when Dadhichi and king Mordhwaj stories were in school texts to ...

Posted by rajivupadhyay

Sub: Not too important.

What Nisha did was that she didnt have any other way. Her father had already paid 15 lacs before. Why was she silent then. Later ...

Posted by Shekhar

Sub: Nishas come once in blue moon

Nishas do come once in ablue moon. It should definetly be part of our history. But what about those Nishas whose complaints have fallen on ...

Posted by Jigar Thakker

Sub: Youth icon Nisha in textbook

I am very pleased to note that the noble acts of this brave lady are going to appear in the school text books. Nisha is ...

Posted by Nelson Lewis



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