Gender

Medical Institute in Patna Removes ‘Virgin’ From New Marital Declaration Form

After many questions and differing answers, ‘virgin’ has been replaced with ‘unmarried’ on the IGIMS form.

Representational image. Credit: PTI

Representational image. Credit: PTI

The furore over Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) in Patna’s marital declaration form has led the institute to reissue the form, deleting the word ‘virgin’.

The old form asked employees to state whether they were bachelors, widowers or virgins, reported ANI News.

The new form replaces the ‘virgin’ option with ‘unmarried’ instead, as shown in this tweet released by ANI News.

Newly-appointed Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey waded into the debate earlier today, stating that the word virgin – which he translated as “kanya, kunwaari” or unmarried girl – was entirely perfectly serviceable in the circumstances, adding that IGIMS officials told him that the form had been adopted from AIIMS and was standard across the country, The Indian Express reported.

Employees of IGIMS had scrambled to come up with answers on being interviewed by the press over the choice of the word virgin.

Dr S.K. Shahi, director-in-charge of IGIMS, stated that the form had been fabricated, The Telegraph reported.

Dr P.K. Sinha, medical superintendent of IGIMS, said that Dr B.N. Tandon, IGIMS’s first director, had imported the form from AIIMS-Delhi, The Telegraph wrote.

IGIMS, which is modelled after AIIMS, “cannot change it. If anything has to be amended, it can be done only through legislation or on orders of the judiciary,” medical superintendent Dr Manish Mandal told The Hindustan Times

Mandal admitted that the choice of the word virgin was not “sober”, according to India Today, adding that he would have preferred ‘unmarried’ instead.

In this context, “virgin doesn’t have anything to do with virginity but marital status. If a person joins in and then dies who would be claimant? Rules are made by the government and the constitution. If they change the word, we will change it too,” Mandal said, according to the Express.

However, the Hindustan Times reported that AIIMS denies that its recruitment forms feature the word virgin.

Mandal later told The Hindustan Times today that changes to the form would require approval from the director or the institute’s board of governors. “The director, who is joining today after four days of leave, will take a call on the matter,” he said.