Published: 02nd December 2021
Question in CBSE Class 12 Sociology exam about Gujarat riots sparks political controversy. Here's why
Several Sociology teachers said the question was within the syllabus. In the assigned textbook 'Indian Society'', a chapter on 'The Challenges of Cultural Diversity' includes a section on communalism
A question in the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) Class 12 board examination in Sociology, has created an uproar.
This is the question in question paper: “The unprecedented scale and spread of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place under which Government?” asked question number 23 in the Sociology paper. The choices offered to students were: (a) Congress (b) BJP (c) Democratic (d) Republican.
The CBSE has since said that the question violated its guidelines. “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. The CBSE acknowledges the error made and will take strict action against the responsible persons,” said a statement on the board’s official Twitter handle.
Several Sociology teachers pushed back saying the question was very much within the syllabus, The Hindu reported. In the assigned textbook 'Indian Society'', a chapter on 'The Challenges of Cultural Diversity' includes a section on communalism.
“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,” a paragraph on page 134 of the text approved by the NCERT reportedly reads. “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.”
In March 2018, a similar sentence in the CBSE’s Class 12 political science textbook had been revised to remove the phrase “anti-Muslim”.
Teachers and principals also noted that the CBSE examination committee has a strict vetting process, including a team of moderators who check the question papers drafted by external subject experts. “There is usually a three-level filtration process for cross-checking and verification, so it is not clear how this question got through,” a CBSE principal reportedly said, adding that the new format of two board examinations during the year due to COVID-19 may have led to some processes being rushed.