Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has taken to Twitter, objecting to a Class 10 CBSE English question paper that triggered a controversy for allegedly promoting “gender stereotyping” and supporting “regressive notions”
The question paper for the English exam conducted on Saturday had a comprehension passage with sentences that read “emancipation of women destroyed the parent’s authority over the children” and “it was only by accepting her husband’s way that a mother could gain obedience over the younger ones”, among others.
Excerpts from the passage went viral on social media, with people calling out CBSE for supporting “misogynistic” and “regressive opinions”. #CBSEinsultswomen trended on the microblogging site Twitter after the exam.
“Unbelievable! Are we really teaching children this drivel? Clearly, the BJP Government endorses these retrograde views on women, why else would they feature in the CBSE curriculum?” Gandhi said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the BJP and the RSS, calling the passage “disgusting”.
Spokesperson of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee Lakshmi Ramachandran said, “This outrageously nonsensical reading passage appeared in the 10th CBSE board exam paper today. What are we teaching our children? CBSE has to give an explanation and tender an apology for inflicting our children with this”.
“Class 10 CBSE English paper today [Saturday] says children and servants must be taught their place and women gaining some independence destroyed parents authority over children. Entire passage is so stupid. Who are these idiots setting question paper in CBSE,” another Twitter user said.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has now referred the matter to subject experts. The CBSE issued a statement saying, “The passage in one set of the English paper of CBSE Class 10 first term examination held yesterday has received mixed reactions from a few parents and students stating that ‘it seems to support regressive notions on family and allegedly promotes gender stereotyping.”
“The matter will be referred to subject experts for considered views as per the pre-set procedures of the board. As regards the correct answer option and the answer key released by the board, it is clarified that if the experts opine that the passage elicits multiple interpretations, appropriate action will be taken to protect the interest of the students,” the board said.
Earlier this month, the CBSE Class 12 sociology paper asked students to name the party under which the “anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002” took place, a question the board later said was “inappropriate” and against its guidelines.