CBSE, the Central
Board of Secondary Education, came down heavily on a question asked in a sociology
test on Wednesday for Term 1 Board Exams for Class 12, with the board calling it
“inappropriate” and promising “strict action against responsible persons”.

The question in question,
according to media sources, was: “The unprecedented scale and spread of
anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 took place under which government.” A
multiple-choice question, options included, Congress, BJP, Democratic and

For the uninitiated,
the answer to the question is of course the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). When
the Gujarat riots took place in 2002, India’s current prime minister, Narendra Modi,
was the chief minister of the state.

Upset by the question,
CBSE wrote on Twitter: “A question has been asked in today’s Class 12 sociology
Term 1 exam, which is inappropriate and in violation of the CBSE guidelines for
external subject experts for setting question papers. CBSE acknowledges the
error made and will take strict action against the responsible persons.”

In yet another
tweet, the board wrote, “The CBSE guidelines for paper setters clearly state
that they have to ensure the questions should be academic oriented only and
should not touch upon domains that could harm sentiments of people based on social
and political choices.”

The board,
however, did not directly refer to the question. A CBSE official told the
Indian Express that the statement was with regard to the question on the “anti-Muslim
violence in Gujarat in 2002”.

The question seems
to have been selected from the NCERT Sociology Class 12 textbook titled ‘Indian
Society’. The chapter under which the question features is titled ‘The
Challenges of Cultural Diversity’. The chapter ruminates upon how no region has
been wholly exempt from communal violence and that while communal violence
affects everyone, it tends to weigh more heavily on minority communities.