The opposition parties in Tamil Nadu on Saturday expressed concerns over the question paper reportedly set for Class 6 students of a central government-run school. Parties including the DMK have slammed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for allegedly reinforcing stereotypes on Muslims and Dalits.
Two multiple choice questions on Dalits and Muslims have caused outrage on social media with many users urging CBSE to take appropriate action against those responsible for drafting the questions. The questions were reportedly based on chapter two of the social science textbook titled ‘Diversity and Discrimination’.
One of the questions read, “What do you mean by Dalit?” Its options were foreigners, untouchables, middle class and upper class.
Another question read: “What is the common stereotype about Muslims?” And the choices were 1. They don’t send their girls to school; 2. They are pure vegetarians, 3. They do not sleep at all at the time of Roza, 4. All of the above.
DMK chief MK Stalin took to Twitter saying how shocked he was to see the questions that propagate caste discrimination and communal division.
“Shocked and appalled to see that a Class 6 Kendriya Vidyalaya exam contains questions that propagate caste discrimination and communal division. Those who are responsible for drafting this Question Paper must be prosecuted under appropriate provisions of law. @HRDMinistry,” he tweeted.
However, there is no clarity on the authenticity of the question paper which went viral on social media. The CBSE has issued a comment on the issue either.
AMMK leader TTV Dinakaran also objected to the contents of the question paper and found fault with the education board for poisoning the minds of students.
He said in a tweet: “I strongly condemn CBSE for having a lesson on a sensitive topic without basic understanding on how it would impact the minds of the students. It sets a bad precedent. Action should be taken against people who have done this.”