Published: 17th June 2022
Question in RGUHS Ayurveda paper draws flak, refers to women as aphrodisiac item
The university officials said that they cannot remove the content as it is part of the prescribed syllabus
A question in an Ayurveda paper of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Karnataka, has received flak on social media for using derogatory language towards women.
The paper which was set for fourth-year students of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) for their degree exam held on Wednesday, June 15, asked them to write a short essay on “Stree as a Vajikarana Dravya” (meaning “woman as an aphrodisiac item”), as stated in a Twitter post.
The Twitter user TheLiverDoc (@theliverdr) shared a screenshot of the question paper on the social media platform. The user also shared pictures of paragraphs from a “government approved” textbook – A textbook of Kayacikitsa that included lines such as “female is considered as best among aphrodisiac drugs” and “ideal female for sexual acts”.
The user, among other users on the platform, criticised the question paper and the textbook. “This is the answer that students are studying in their Bachelor’s degree, instead of progressive, scientific facts that are to be useful for community and humanity… are we teaching our young students the way of ‘rape culture’ by objectifying women?” the user said in the post.
However, university officials said that this is a part of the textbook. “The question paper is set as per the syllabus. These are things taught in the textbook and are one of the methods of treatment. The university has no authority over adding or removing the contents of the textbook as it was set by the Central Council for Indian Medicine,” said Ramakrishna Reddy, Registrar (Evaluation) of RGUHS, in a report by The Hindu.