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What was the CBSE Class 10 English comprehension passage on 'emancipation of wife'?

Ishita Srivastava
Ishita SrivastavaDec 13, 2021 | 19:04

What was the CBSE Class 10 English comprehension passage on 'emancipation of wife'?

CBSE announced on December 13 that it is dropping the controversial comprehension passage from its Class 10 English board exam paper. The comprehension passage potrays misogynistic views on families, women and disciplining children. The education board said it will award full marks to all students for the questions asked on the particular comprehension passage question.

WHAT WAS THE PROBLEMATIC PASSAGE? The three-paragraph-long passage has led to criticism for being “regressive” and offensive to women. The third paragraph reads, "What people were slow to observe was that the emancipation of the wife destroyed the parent’s authority over the children. The mother did not exemplify the obedience upon which she still tried to insist... In bringing the man down from his pedestal, the wife and the mother deprived herself, in fact, of the means of discipline.”

Here is the comprehension that is in question and is circulating all over Twitter: 

CRITICISM: Earlier, on December 13, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi slammed the comprehension as a 'shockingly regressive' passage during the Zero Hour in Lok Sabha. She also sought an apology from CBSE. Gandhi said, "The passage contains atrocious statements, such as ‘women gaining independence is the main reason for a wide variety of social and family problems’. The entire passage is riddled with such condemnable ideas and the questions that follow are equally nonsensical."

Seeking an apology, she added, "I urge the ministry of education and CBSE to immediately withdraw this question, issue an apology, and conduct a fair review into this lapse and ensure this is never repeated."

The Delhi Commission for Women also issued a notice to CBSE. The notice asked for the details of the person responsible for writing the comprehension passage and whether the material was scritnised by CBSE or not. Here is the notice: 

Photo: India TodayPhoto: India Today

Congress's General Secrectary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also tweeted, "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?"

CBSE'S RESPONSE: After massive backlash, CBSE has also announced that an expert committee has now been set up to thoroughly review the question paper-setting process. This move is intended to avoid similar occurrences in future.

Last updated: December 14, 2021 | 15:03
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