From ‘Nothing wrong’ to ‘bad taste’, experts have different views on CBSE question on Gujarat riots – Times of India

New Delhi: Experts have expressed mixed views on the Gujarat riots in the CBSE Class 12 exams, which the board termed as an error and called for stern action against those responsible. Earlier, a school teacher who was involved in determining the question papers said on condition of anonymity, “If the same subject can be taught in the syllabus then why can’t questions be asked from there. There were many questions from the syllabus.”

“If the textbook is clearly stated, then what is the fuss? If students are taught about it, the questioners have the right to ask questions on the question paper. Education is based on reality,” said Dr. Tanvir Ijaz, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Ramjas College.


The CBSE class 12 sociology paper held on Wednesday asked students to name the group under which “anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat took place in 2002”, a question the board later said was “inappropriate” and against its guidelines.


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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also said that strict action will be taken against “responsible persons”.

The sociology test asked a multiple-choice question – “Under which government did the unprecedented level and spread of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 take place?”


The proposed alternatives were – Congress, BJP, Democrats and Republicans.

Riots erupted in the state in 2002 after two bogies of the Sabarmati Express train were set ablaze near Godhra railway station, killing 59 Hindu ‘Karsebaks’. More than a thousand lives have been lost in the riots.

There is a section on communalism in the chapter “Challenges of Cultural Diversity” in the assigned textbook “Indian Society”.


The 134-page paragraph under sub-section ‘Problems and identities related to nation-state and religion’ states: “No region is completely free from one form or another of communal violence. Every religious community has faced this violence. Or less. On the scale, though, the proportional effect is much more traumatic for the minority community.

In fact, two of the most poignant contemporary instances of communal violence have occurred under each major political party. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi took place under Congress rule.

Umesh Ashok Kadam, a professor at the Center for Historical Studies, JNU, said, “NCERT textbooks need to be reviewed. It is time to do so. For pending issues, CBSE and NCERT need to take sensitive steps. Kadam was previously a member of the NCERT committee to review history textbooks.


Naved Jamal, an associate professor in the political science department at Jamia Millia Islamia, said: “This kind of question is not of good taste. You may have different views on riots and why they happened. You really need to have a holistic understanding. When we talk about the history of the riots, we have to understand that they are not in the best interests and against the unity of the nation and against the secular structure. ”

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