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Indian Text Book Controversy – Mosque Shown as Noise Pollutant

Indian Text Book Controversy – Mosque Shown as Noise Pollutant

Sunday, July 2, 2017
Written By: M Osama Shahzad

The biggest democracy of world apparently isn’t so much democratic after all. Sometimes innocent's blood is spilled over eating beef and other times minorities have to bear unreasonable behavior by certain extremist elements. There is no denial to fact that humans fundamentally are all beautiful with attractive heart and striking souls but just like this fact, it is also a fact that there are few black sheep in every society. Such people may get to their objective by controversial means and get the cheap publicity they desired but in the process they shame the whole society and be a black mark of a community’s forehead.
One such incident was reported in New Delhi where a book published by Selina Publishers of Daryaganj, sparked a controversy. The book named “Integrated Science” for VI standard has used a picture of mosque in one pictorial where sources of noise pollution were being showed. The writer probably was a diehard fan of Sonu Nigam and decided to register his protest for Sonu at wrong place and wrong time.
Sonu Nigam sparked this controversy in April this year when he said that he was woken up by sound of (fajir) “azaan”- early morning call for prayer amplified by loud speakers.
The picture showing a train, car, airplane and a mosque, all with symbols depicting loud sound, net to a disturbed man covering his ears with his hands, went viral on social media last week and created uproar among Muslims, Human Right activists and liberals.
This message was circulated by a father on Whatsapp. The father saw the book of his daughter studying in Vi standard and noticed the irregularity.
The message circulated was:

“I was quite furious looking at the image myself. What message is the image trying to give? What is it doing in a little child’s textbook? What is it doing to such tender impressionable minds? Aren’t these minds supposed to be future of my COUNTRY….!!??? WHY DID THEY CHOSE ONLY THIS RELIGION for the image?”

Muslim father rightly pointed out why only one religion was deliberately targeted.  Popular Front of India has filed a complaint in Pune Police station against Selina Publishers, book editor SK Bhasin and publication’s owner.
Selina publisher current editor BK George admitted out that it was a mistake but not a deliberate one. The book was discontinued but many copies were already circulated. The Editor will make sure to remove the mistake and not let the anything like this happen in the future.
Hemant Gupta, the publisher in his apology said that the structure resembles a portion of fort and other noise producing objects. Hemant apologized for hurting sentiments of anyone.
Clearly Hemant isn’t even ashamed but making excuses to a cover up for a deliberate mistake. Calling a structure with dome, 2 minarets and speakers, a part of fort?? Obviously he needs to retake his history classes.
Netizens have launched an online petition asking these books to be withdrawn. ICSE board officials were nowhere to be found to comment about this incident.
Such publishers are needed to be fined heavily who use such controversial content to gain attention and at the end succeeds in it. They just hurt many people sentiments and get away with a simple apology. The Rising trend of controversial contents being found in Indian text books attest to the claim of cheap publicity.

About Usama Shahzad

Usama Shahzad
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