Row Over ‘Azad Kashmir’ Question in Viral Images of Exercise Book; Union Minister Seeks Probe


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Last Updated: January 17, 2023, 18:56 IST

Union minister Subhas Sarkar said that the issue should not be taken lightly by the state government (Image: Twitter)

In the purported question paper, issued in an exercise book of a Bengali-medium school for students of Class 10, the paper setter has asked them to identify several places on the map – Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the place where Gandhiji had first undertaken the Satyagraha movement, and the Chittagong battle ground

A purported image of a Bengal school’s model question paper, asking students to mark “Azad Kashmir” in a map, has gone viral on social media, with Union minister Subhas Sarkar on Tuesday calling for a state-level inquiry into the matter.

He said that the issue should not be taken lightly by the state government.

Sarkar, when shown the widely circulated image during a press meet on the Narendra Modi government’s ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023’, told PTI that the Union government will also look into the issue.

In the purported question paper, issued in an exercise book of a Bengali-medium school for students of Class 10, the paper setter has asked them to identify several places on the map – Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (referred to as ‘Azad Kashmir’ in Pakistan), the place where Gandhiji had first undertaken the Satyagraha movement, and the Chittagong battle ground.

The Bankura MP said,”I urge the state education minister to look into the issue. In case it is found to be true, appropriate action should be taken against the publisher and paper setter. The test paper should be immediately withdrawn and the question deleted.” PTI did not independently verify the authenticity of the image.

Sarkar further went on to say that the incident, if true, can be attributed to the “appeasement politics of the TMC-run government which has emboldened some people to insert a question with anti-national overtones in the test paper”.

West Bengal Board of Secondary Education President Ramanuj Ganguly said a probe will be conducted into the matter and necessary action will be taken accordingly.

“We don’t yet know what prompted the test paper setter to include a question like that. We will find it out and take necessary action,” he added.

Efforts to reach out to state education minister Bratya Basu proved futile.

TMC state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh later told PTI his party doesn’t support anything that is wrong.

“If someone has set such a question, he has done the wrong thing. We don’t support such acts.

“The TMC is a secular party which does not believe in appeasing any particular community. Sarkar has made a baseless comment against our party,” Ghosh stated.

Various schools and teachers’ association, as well as the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, issue individual model question papers every year to aid the preparations of board examinees.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)



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