Reacting strongly to the “36-24-36 best body shape for females” text used in a Class 12 textbook, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar termed it as sexist and ordered action against the publisher. The action will be taken even when the publisher has stopped the printing and sale of the book. It may be recalled that the text had gone viral on social media and was strongly criticized by most users. It was in a book titled “Health and Physical Education”, and in the chapter “Physiology and Sports”, the text read, “36-24-36 shape of females is considered the best. That is why in Miss World or Miss Universe competitions, such type of shape is also taken into consideration”.
The book was written by V K Sharma and published by New Saraswati House, which is based in Delhi. The book was meant to be used by schools that are affiliated to CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education). However, CBSE has clarified that it does not recommended the use of books printed by private publishers. “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”.