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Chennai school question paper terms R-Day vandals ‘maniacs’, triggers row

Vocalist TM Krishna, Tharoor flay ‘propaganda’, school alumni says it’s against Arya Samaj ethics

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 22

A Chennai school’s act of equating Republic Day vandals in New Delhi with “violent maniacs” in a question paper has triggered a debate on the ethics of institution-led inquiry.

DAV Boys Senior Secondary School, Gopalapuram, Chennai, in a Class X paper, recently asked students to write a letter to the editor “condemning violent acts on the R-Day by miscreants and suggesting ways to thwart violent maniacs”.

Describing the question in an English language and literature paper as “propagandist”, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today asked the school to clarify its stand.

“Is this an English language paper or do we now have exams on ‘How to write propaganda’? DAV School Gopalapuram please clarify,” Tharoor said after Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna questioned the move.

Krishna also posted on Twitter a letter by some school alumni expressing disappointment at the question. The controversial question offers a background to R-Day violence before asking students to write a letter to the editor about it.

The school alumni in a letter to the principal said, “We express our disappointment at such an inappropriate question being included in a Class X paper and call upon you to ponder the 10 principles of Arya Samaj etched in stone on the school campus. Unfortunately, the letter writing exercise turned out to be a highly editorialised polemic against one group of individuals, exhorting the students to take on a specific stance with no actual room for any individual thought.”

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