The contents of a class 8 social studies book in Telangana have come under fire for an alleged Islamophobic image. The picture that features in the ‘National movement – the last phase 1919-1947’ chapter of a ‘Question Bank’ showed a ‘terrorist’ holding a rocket launcher in his right hand and the holy Quran in the left. The image prompted the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) to write to the Telangana Government demanding the immediate removal of the image, reported news agency IANS.
Reacting sharply to the photo, SIO Telangana president Talha Faiyazuddin criticised the publication of the photo and requested the state’s education minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy to launch an inquiry against the publisher.
Faiyazuddin said that such content in textbooks creates hateful prejudices against the Muslim community in the students’ minds. He added that the image showing the person holding a gun and Quran at the same time, propagated hate against Islam and intended to disrupt the harmony, unity and integrity of the society.
The student organisation demanded that the government should infuse peace in the minds of students through peace education and peace curriculum in educational institutions. The state government authorities assured SIO of appropriate action against the publisher.
The content drew strong reactions from netizens as well and social media users lashed out at the publication for disrupting harmony. “Why Social Studies book is misguiding the students in Telangana? How come someone design a Terrorist holding Quran in one hand and gun on the shoulder? Stop this immediately,” wrote a user.
Terrorist’s picture in the book Social Studies in Telangana. The Quran is shown in the hands of the terrorist. You see how all preparations are being made to spread Islamophobia and hatred towards Muslims among the children of class VIII now through books. @TelanganaCMO pic.twitter.com/cY2KbcMbPo— Suniltewari995985 (@Suniltewari9951) September 27, 2021
However, after the issue was highlight by many stakeholders, VGS Publications- the publisher of this social studies book, issued an apology letter and expressed regret over the picture. The Vijaywada-based publisher has assured to withdraw all the unsold books from the market and publish new ones without the picture.