Chennai: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President MK Stalin on Saturday expressed concern over questions based on caste and religious stereotypes that were asked in an examination at a school run by the central government in Tamil Nadu. The question paper, which went viral on social media, has raised eyebrows for its content.
“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," Stalin said in a tweet.
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 pic.twitter.com/kddu8jdbN7 — M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) 7 September 2019
A few of the questions Stalin highlighted were regarding minority communities in the country.
One of them asked what is the word 'Dalit' means, and the options for the answer included foreigners, untouchables, middle class, and upper class. Another question was based on the stereotype about Muslims, with options including, "They don't send their girls to school; they are pure vegetarians; they do not sleep at all at the time of Roza; and all of them."
These questions were reportedly based on chapter 2 of a social science text book titled "Diversity and Discrimination".
AMMK leader TTV Dinakaran and Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko also lashed out at the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) over the question paper.
"I strongly condemn the CBSE for having a lesson on a sensitive topic without basic understanding on how it would impact the minds of the students. It is wrong to ask questions in this manner to young children. It sets a bad precedent. Action should be taken against people who have done this," Dhinakaran said in a statement.
The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan said it has noticed the fake question paper being circulated on social media claiming it to be of some Kendriya Vidyalaya 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," it said in a statement.
The CBSE said it does not set question papers for internal exams in "any class for any school".
"It only conducts board exams for class 10 and 12. The said references to CBSE are, therefore, found incorrect and unfounded," said a senior board official.
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan also said its RO has reported that none of the 49 KVs of Chennai region has prepared such questions. "It is, therefore, to clarify that the said question paper is not related to any Kendriya Vidyalaya. Social media users are requested to refrain from spreading misleading messages," it added.