The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) found itself in hot soup recently when a particular question in the Class 12 Sociology examination paper appeared which caused an outrage amongst the netizens. Reportedly, the question in the Term 1 exam had asked to choose the name of the political party from four options, under whose regime, the Gujarat riots in 2002 took place.
Question no. 23 in the exam paper asked the students, “The unprecedented scale and spread of anti-muslim violence in Gujarat in 2022 took place under which government?” with the four options being (a) Congress (b) BJP (c) Democratic (d) Republican.
Question picked verbatim from NCERT book; NCERT in question again
The question appears to have been picked exactly from a paragraph under the chapter, ‘The Challenges of Cultural Diversity’, in the NCERT Class 12 Sociology textbook, ‘Indian Society’.
A brief excerpt from the chapter reads as follows, “No region has been wholly exempt from communal violence of one kind or another. Every religious community has faced this violence in greater or lesser degree, although the proportionate impact is far more traumatic for minority communities. To the extent that governments can be held responsible for communal riots, no government or ruling party can claim to be blameless in this regard.”
It continues further, “In fact, the two most traumatic contemporary instances of communal violence occurred under each of the major political parties. The anti-Sikh riots of Delhi in 1984 took place under a Congress regime. The unprecedented scale and spread of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place under a BJP government.”
CBSE apologises, says will punish the concerned official
However, as soon as the question went viral on social media platforms, the netizens took offence and called out CBSE as well as the Ministry of Education (MoE), which appears to be sleeping at the wheel.
After the clamour surrounding the question reached the climax, the CBSE through its official social media handle on Twitter gave out an apology.
CBSE termed the question as inappropriate and stated that strict action will be taken against the responsible persons. “A question has been asked in today’s class 12 sociology Term 1 exam which is inappropriate and in violation of the CBSE guidelines for external subject experts for setting question papers. CBSE acknowledges the error made and will take strict action against the responsible persons.”
A question has been asked in today's class 12 sociology Term 1 exam which is inappropriate and in violation of the CBSE guidelines for external subject experts for setting question papers.CBSE acknowledges the error made and will take strict action against the responsible persons
— CBSE HQ (@cbseindia29) December 1, 2021
The board further asserted that only academic, religion-neutral questions are allowed in the exams. “The CBSE guidelines for paper setters clearly state that they have to ensure the questions should be academic oriented only and should be class, religion neutral and should not touch upon domains that could harm sentiments of people based on social and political choices.”
The CBSE guidelines for paper setters clearly state that they have to ensure the questions should be academic oriented only and should be class, religion neutral and should not touch upon domains that could harm sentiments of people based on social and political choices.
— CBSE HQ (@cbseindia29) December 1, 2021
Not NCERT, CBSE or government’s first rodeo
This is not the first time that educational bodies in addition to the government have found themselves on a sticky wicket.
As reported by the TFI, recently, NCERT came up with a bizarre guideline to train students into theories of gender identity, gender incongruence, gender dysphoria, gender affirmation, gender expression, gender conformity, gender variance, heterosexuality, homosexuality, asexuality, bisexuality, and trans-negativity among various others, through a detailed glossary.
It was a direct import from the woke manual in the US, which has led to several conflicts between parents in the USA and the schools. After being criticised by the public, the NCERT withdrew the manual. Moreover, the manual was prepared by an individual named ‘Ms.’ Vikramaditya Sahai who had openly espoused hate speech against the Hindus.
This is one of the "External Team Members" of the project that produced the woke NCERT training manual for teachers pic.twitter.com/lwbwDKqCUK
— Sensei Kraken Zero (@YearOfTheKraken) November 1, 2021
While CBSE and NCERT have formed a fatal concoction that has led to the current situation, the government has not been far behind either.
Former education minister Prakash Javadekar during his tenure had remarked that he took pride in the fact that his government had not changed a single word in the textbooks. Javadekar has infamously remarked, “We have not rewritten a single chapter in the last four years.” However, what showed Javadekar’s true inability to lead the ministry was the fact that he believed that he could circumvent the left-teaching of the textbooks and somehow correct it through direct conversation.
He further added, “We don’t need to go to textbook to expand our philosophy. We do that by directly going to people and having a direct conversation with them. We don’t have to use textbook syllabus to spread our philosophy,”
It’s been more than 7 years and yet the government appears passive and reluctant to change what is a biased and narrow point of view of events being taught to students across the country. If the books can term the 2002 riots simply as ‘anti-muslim riots’, imagine, 20 years from now, what would happen when the future generations will read about the North East Delhi riots of 2020.
The Hindus were killed and yet the liberal cabal has been stating that it was a Muslim pogrom. This is how the popular discourse is hijacked while left-liberal professors coyly publish a book using the same narrative which is later shoved down the throat of young students who are easily influenced.