Published: 09th September 2019
Fake question paper? Controversial questions on Dalits, Muslims based on NCERT Class 6 textbook
DMK chief MK Stalin had expressed concern over the questions that were apparently asked in an examination at a school in Tamil Nadu
A question paper allegedly created by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan for schools in Tamil Nadu caused a furore on social media in the past week because of its controversial content on Dalits and Muslims. The KVS however, has clarified in a statement that none of its schools in TN drafted any controversial exam questions.
Two multiple-choice questions from the question paper, which has been doing rounds on social media, had attracted backlash: Question 17: “What do you mean by Dalit?” and choices for answers were: (A) Foreigners (B) Untouchables (C) Middle Class (D) Upper class. and Question 18: “What is the common stereotype about Muslims?” and choices for answers were: (A) They don’t send their girls to school (B) They are pure vegetarian (C) They do not sleep at all at the time of Roza (D) All of them.
KVS in their statement regarding the question paper stated: "Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan Question Paper being shared on Social Media is not related to any KV schools. This question paper is said to be related with some school in Tamil Nadu or Puducherry. However, no evidence has so far been brought to the notice of KVS which may establish that the Question Paper belongs to a Kendriya Vidyalaya. Deputy commissioner of KVS RO has reported that 'none of 49 Kendriya Vidyalayas of Chennai Region has prepared such questions/question paper. Moreover, the pattern of question paper in KVs is different from what is being circulated in media.'"
However, these questions were found to be based from a Class VI Social Science textbook published in 2019-20 by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Both the questions were based on segments from Chapter 2 of the book, under 'Diversity and Discrimination' under two subhead — 'On being discriminated against' (page 18) and 'Inequality and discrimination' (page 19).
The first segment in the above mentioned textbook states, "A common stereotype about some Muslims is that they are not interested in educating girls and therefore do not send girls to school. However, studies have now shown that poverty amongst Muslims is an important reason why Muslim girls do not attend school or drop out from school after a few years."
Read the textbook here.
The second part about Dalits, sys, "Dalit is a term that people belonging to socalled lower castes use to address themselves. They prefer this word to 'untouchable'. Dalit means those who have been 'broken'."
சாதி பாகுபாட்டையும் வகுப்புவாதத்தையும் பரப்பும் கேள்விகள் கேந்தரிய வித்யாலயா 6ம் வகுப்புத் தேர்வில் இடம்பெற்றிருப்பதை கண்டு பெரும் அதிர்ச்சியடைந்தேன்.— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) September 7, 2019
இப்படிப்பட்ட கேள்விகளை இடம்பெறச் செய்தவர்கள் விசாரிக்கப்பட்டு உரிய சட்டங்கள் மூலம் கடுமையாக தண்டிக்கப்பட வேண்டும்.@HRDMinistry pic.twitter.com/TVPaYmOJOQ
The questions raised quite a few eyebrows for its content, including that of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin, who expressed concern over it. He tweeted, "Shocked and appalled to see that a Class 6 Kendriya Vidyalaya exam contains questions that propagate caste discrimination and communal division."