In a sensational development, the ICSE board’s class VI text book has blamed mosques and Azaan for causing noise pollution.
A chapter on noise pollution in the book published by Selina Publishers talks about sources that cause noise pollution. The image published in the chapter of Integrated Science shows trains, cars, planes and mosque as sources of noise pollution. The image (see below) also has a man shutting his ears in frustration right in front of a mosque.
The photo on page 202, lesson 13, has now gone viral on social media platforms with angry users fervently sharing it on WhatsApp accusing the ICSE board of pushing anti-Islamic agenda through its textbooks.
Faced with the negative PR, the owner of the publication, Hemant Gupta, apologised for the ‘mistake’ saying the this will be rectified in the subsequent editions. He has, however, not made any promises to withdraw the thousands of books that have already been circulated in schools across India.
Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, told news agency PTI, “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.”
Members of civil society have now launched an online petition demanding the recall of the books carrying ‘objectionable content about Islam.’
In response to a complaint from one Ubaid Hussain of All India Tanzeem-e-Insaf, Gupta wrote, “I thank you sincerely for pointing out your reservations regarding a picture given in our book ‘Integrated Science for Class-VI.’ Here below please find out apology regarding the same.”
The apology letter issued on the letterhead of Selina Publishers, Gupta wrote, “The diagram on page 202 of our publication, Integrated Science for Class-6, has a structure resembling portion of a fort and other noise producing objects in a noisy city. We do apologise 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.”
Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam had caused a huge controversy in April this year when he disparagingly blamed Azaan for causing noise pollution. He was later blamed for pormoting Hindutva agenda at the behest of the BJP and the RSS on Twitter.
Nigam had later deleted his Twitter account in solidarity with another pro-RSS former singer, Abhijeet, whose account was suspended by Twitter for abusive tweets targetting women.