Kolkata, August 8: The controversies surrounding 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan and 'cut money' found its place in a question paper of a school in West Bengal. The question paper asked students of class 10 how the 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan was generating adverse effects in society and how people were benefitted by the return of 'cut money'. The two issues became talking points during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The question paper of Akna Union High School in Hooghly district asked students to write a report for a newspaper on any one of the two – 'harmful effects on the society of chanting Jai Shri Ram' or 'bold step of the government to stop corruption by returning cut money', Hindustan Times reported. The topic on Jai Shri Ram slogan has an apparent reference to BJP workers shouting "Jai Shri Ram." 'Stop Getting Angry': Mamata Banerjee Asked to Restrain by Prashant Kishor.
The "cut money" issue is related to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who lashed out at leaders of her Trinamool Congress (TMC) for taking cut money (commission) and ordered them to return the money to the public. Banerjee, however, clarified later that her message was not just directed at her party but to all the political parties in general, as well as the state government officials, so that people get the benefit of the welfare schemes. Woman Dies After Protesting Against 'Cut Money' Issue.
The question paper was set by Akna Union High School's Bengali language teacher Subhasish Ghosh who apologised for including politically-sensitive issues. "No one has lodged any complaint but we took steps on our own. We decided to cancel the question. If anyone attempted to answer it, the student would be given full marks," said headmaster Rohit Pyne. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit out at the school and TMC.
"It is clear that the school authorities have taken up the responsibility of beating the drum for Trinamool Congress. They accuse us of saffronising education, but now the people of the state should see what they are doing. The teachers have become slaves of the ruling party. I don’t have words strong enough to condemn it," BJP chief of Hingoli, Subir Nag, was quoted as saying.
Reacting to the question paper, Nirmal Ghosh, the deputy chief of Akna gram panchayat, who is also a local TMC leader said: "Such a political question would create confusion in the minds of the students."