After Sonu Nigam stoked controversy by criticizing “azaan” over ‘forced religiousness’, the Islamic call to prayer is once again in the line of fire. Now, a Class 6 ICSE textbook has equated azaan with noise pollution.
An image in a class 6 textbook taught in Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) schools depicting a “mosque” as a source of noise pollution has sparked outrage on social media. The depiction in the science textbook, ‘Integrated Science’, led to an online petition and has also received flak on social media.
The science textbook, published by Selina Publishers, has a chapter on the causes of noise pollution. The picture, shared widely on social media, shows a train, car, plane and a mosque, all with symbols depicting loud sound, next to a man grimacing and shutting his ears.
“The ICSE, however, maintained the board did not publish or prescribe textbooks, and that schools had to deal with the issue. If any book with objectionable content is being taught at certain schools, it is for schools and publisher to ensure such a thing does not happen,” Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, said.
Netizens have now launched an online petition demanding the book be withdrawn. The outcry drew an apology from the publisher. “This is to inform all concerned that we will be changing the picture in subsequent editions of the book,” publisher Hemant Gupta said on social media sites.
A Twitter user put this matter and tweeted,
“6th Std ICSE textbook shows Causes of Noise Pollution with d MOSQUE. WT does it mean? AZAAN causes NOISE POLLUTION? #NarendraModi #PMO #HRD.”
— Zulqarnain Bhaisaheb (@zulqarnainrhs) July 2, 2017
As someone who studied in ICSE school & thought board’s textbooks were cut above rest, this from Selina Publishers is pretty crappy: pic.twitter.com/1f7A8P27U8
— Rezaul Hasan Laskar (@Rezhasan) July 3, 2017
— Dr.Faisal Khan (@fmkhan44) July 2, 2017
And it is not the first time, we’ve witnessed the poor representation of an issue in children’s textbooks. Earlier also they have made blunders like depicting the dark shade of skin as the reason of dowry and illiteracy as the reason behind the thefts.
As the movement got the force, the publishers of the book came in front and apologized. The chief of the Selina Publishers,
“We do apologize if it hurt the sentiments of anyone; We will be changing the picture: SELINA PUBLISHERS.”
We do apologise if it hurt the sentiments of anyone;We will be changing the picture : SELINA PUBLISHERS pic.twitter.com/6vQRn1wu25
— Mohamed Shibli (@ShibliOfficial) June 30, 2017
A statement from publishers read, “The diagram on page 202 of our publication integrated science for Class-VI has a structure resembling a portion of a fort and other noise producing objects in a noisy city. We apologize if it has hurt the sentiments of anyone. This is to inform all concerned that we will be changing the picture in our subsequent editions of the book.”
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