CBSE Asks Who Was in Govt During 2002 Gujarat Anti-Muslim Violence, Then Calls it 'Error'

The question asked, “The unprecedented scale and spread of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place under which government?”

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New Delhi: The Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) recently included a question asking which political party was in power when the “anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place”.

The question, which was included in the CBSE’s Term 1 sociology test for Class 12 students, was shared to social media by several users. It read: “The unprecedented scale and spread of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place under which government?”

The question which has caused the stir. Photo: Twitter/Harry_Powell96.

The question is a reference to the anti-Muslim violence that tore through Gujarat in February 2002 following the burning of two coaches of the Sabarmati Express populated with Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya in the Muslim-majority town of Godhra. 

What followed was retaliatory violence against the Muslim community in the state where, reportedly, thousands of Muslims lost their lives. 

The Union government at the time had been formed by the BJP with Atal Bihari Vajpayee serving as the Prime Minister. In Gujarat, now Prime Minister Narendra Modi was serving as the chief minister.

Also read: Revisiting the 2002 Sardarpura and Ode Massacres for Which the Convicts Just Got Bail

After images of the question surfaced online, the CBSE’s official Twitter handle posted on the social media platform, noting that a question in the December 1 sociology paper was “inappropriate and in violation of CBSE guidelines”, without making any specific reference to the question about the anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002.

In a statement, a CBSE official said the board’s statement referred to this particular question, the Indian Express reported. The newspaper also reported that the question seems to have come from the chapter, ‘The Challenges of Cultural Diversity’ included in the NCERT sociology textbook for Class 12, Indian Society.

Indian Society

The individuals who set questions for CBSE papers are kept anonymous from one-another and even they do not know whether or not the questions they set will be used in the exam. The questions set are then reviewed by moderators to ensure that they comply with various standards, such as the prescribed syllabus and textbooks and the unit-wise weightage accounted for in the curriculum.