Controversial text in CBSE class 10 question paper irks many; Cong’s Priyanka Gandhi says BJP ‘endorses retrograde views

Congress party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra shared a copy of the question paper on Twitter and said that the BJP government “endorsed” the views on women expressed in the passage.
Congress MP Jothimani wrote to CBSE’s chairperson Manoj Ahuja expressing shock about the question paper.(Representational image)
Congress MP Jothimani wrote to CBSE’s chairperson Manoj Ahuja expressing shock about the question paper.(Representational image)
Updated on Dec 13, 2021 03:44 PM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Several people on social media called out a controversial reading passage in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) class 10 English question paper, expressing shock and anger over the text. The text, which was shared widely on Twitter, was under the ‘reading’ section in the question paper and was criticised for being ‘anti-women’ and expressing regressive notions about families and the role of women.

Meanwhile, the Congress party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra shared a copy of the question paper on Twitter and said that the BJP government “endorsed” the views on women expressed in the passage.

Also read | Sonia Gandhi demands apology from CBSE; board drops controversial question

“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?,” she tweeted, tagging the CBSE and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress MP Jothimani wrote to CBSE’s chairperson Manoj Ahuja expressing shock about the question paper. She said that the question paper contained “Misogynistic, Anti-women, anti-child rights ideas” in her letter.

“I was shocked to read through the passages given in the reading comprehension section of the Grade 10 CBSE exams held on 11.12.2021,” she wrote in her letter, pointing out to some statements in the text like “the emancipation of the wife destroyed the parent's authority over their children" and "Children and servants were...taught their place”.

“These statements only serve to perpetuate misogynistic ideas which were used to oppress women and they are in opposition to the very ethos of the Constitution which is centered on Equality and Social Justice,” she further said.

She expressed concerns that such passages in a question paper would normalise “regressive misogynistic” thoughts and said that the emphasis on ‘parental authority on children’ came from an outdated understanding of child development.

Urging the CBSE to recall the paper, she also suggested a “sensitization” session in every CBSE grade 10 classroom “to debrief why such regressive ideas must find no place in the 21st century.”

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