The controversial lines were part of an English Revision Exam question paper for class 10 students.

A person wearing a blue shirt writing something on a piece of paper
news Controversy Friday, February 19, 2021 - 20:42

A renowned Chennai school has courted controversy by referring to farmers who protested against the farm laws during the Republic Day tractor rally as ‘violent maniacs’. The phrase was used in a politically charged question in a Class 10 exam paper. It was framed in ‘letter to an editor’ format, as part of the English Language and Literature paper in the second revision exams held at DAV Boys school. The English exam was held on February 11.

Drafted under section B of the exam paper, the  question read: “The diabolical violence that broke out in the national capital on Republic Day filled the hearts of the citizens with condemnation and abhorrence after the farm law protesters went on a rampage destroying public property and attacking police personnel in broad daylight. Write a letter to the Editor of a daily newspaper in your city, condemning such terrible, violent acts of miscreants who fail to realise that country comes before personal needs and gains. Destroying public property, disgracing the national flag, and attacking police personnel are few of the various illegal offences committed, that can never be justified for any reason whatsoever.”

The question further asked students to “suggest few measures to thwart such violent maniacs who act under external instigation.” An image of the question paper was shared by a teacher of another school on social media and it said that the paper was set by the DAV Boys Senior Secondary School in Gopalapuram.

The News Minute spoke to several Class 10 students of the same school, who confirmed that the question had appeared along with another 10 mark question. Students could choose to attempt one of the two questions under the section.

“There is a letter format that has been taught to us, with the sender’s address, receiver’s address etc. We replicated that format and wrote the body of the letter based on the question and the points raised in the question,” one of the students added.

A parent of a class 10 student from DAV boys also added that questions for the revision papers are set by teachers of the school and the students’ answer sheets are also corrected in house.

The incident has now triggered discussions on social media, with several users pointing out that the question was furthering a narrative which attempted to vilify farmers who have been protesting for over two months against the three farm bills passed by the Centre.

“I love how subtle that question is. Just gently, ever so gently, nudges the student in a particular direction and then lets them make up their own mind. Treats them like adults. It's just awesome,” another user tweeted

TNM reached out to Chitra Raghavan, Principal of DAV Boy’s Senior Secondary School and Shanty Asokan, former principal and one of the directors of the school. However, the school has refrained from furnishing a statement on the same.

The story will be updated with the school’s statement regarding the issue.



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