Parents of a primary school in West Bengal’s Burdwan district staged a protest against an illustration that depicted a dark-skinned person as ugly. 

According to reports, the illustration described letter ‘U’ as Ugly and it also had a photo of a person with dark complexion, next to the word. 

Naturally, parents weren’t comfortable with the usage of an image of a black person next to the word ‘ugly’ under the letter ‘U’ in the children’s curriculum book on alphabet and words.

The book was issued by the pre-primary department of the government run school Municipal Girls High School located in East Burdwan district of West Bengal. While speaking about the text book, a teacher of Kolkata Bangbasi (Evening) College, Sudip Majumdar 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.

Majumdar further demanded for the book to be withdrawn as it discriminates against dark skinned people. He said

This book should be withdrawn soon.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. 

Initially, Swapan Kumar Dutt, District Inspector of School Primary Education refused to comment on the matter but, he later accepted the fact that such education is not right. He said:

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.

After proper investigation, two teachers were suspended with immediate effect and stricter action is to be taken against them. In an interview, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee confirmed that the text book was not issued by the government. He said:

The book is not part of the text books referred by the education department. It was introduced by the school itself. We have zero tolerance for acts which instill prejudices into the minds of students. 

This matter came into light when the father of a student was referring to the text book and teaching him at home. He immediately informed other parents and the education department about the issue.