Fact Check: Did Telangana govt's Class 8 social studies textbook contain Islamophobic content?

Social Media users are sharing a picture of a book showing a 'terrorist' carrying the Holy Quran in his left hand and holding a rocket launcher in his right hand.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  27 Sep 2021 5:14 AM GMT
Fact Check: Did Telangana govts Class 8 social studies textbook contain Islamophobic content?

Hyderabad: Social Media users are sharing a picture of a class 8th book showing a 'terrorist' carrying the Holy Quran in his left hand and holding a rocket launcher in his right hand.

Users said it is from Telangana government's Class 8 social studies textbook.

The image is a part of a chapter, `National movement the last phase 1919-1947'.

"@asadowaisi @KTRTRS @KTRoffice @TelanganaCMO Telangana govt. Ki 8th class ki book me ek shaks ke hath me Qur'an shareef hai aur usko terrorist likha gaya hai. Ye social studies ki textbook hai. Ye bardast ki inteha hai aur publisher ko fauri giraftaar karna chahiye (sic)," reads the caption.

"Telangana Govt's 8th class book. A person is seen holding Qurani n his hand. He is being termed a terrorist. This is a textbook for social studies. This is the height of tolerance. The publisher should be arrested immediately (sic)," reads the English translation.

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Fact Check:

The claim is misleading.

To begin with, NewsMeter checked the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) website. The team accessed e-textbooks which are published by the Telangana government and looked for textbooks of class 8 in English medium. The team searched for the chapter for national movement- from early phase to last phase and found no such pictures.

Even the first cover page of the textbook varied from the viral picture. We dug more into the presentation of the textbook and discovered that there is a QR code given for every lesson. It has only pictures of Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters. The team did not find any image of a terrorist.

NewsMeter also confirmed the same with the SCERT faculty. On condition of anonymity, they said that it is not a SCERT textbook but looks more like a question bank or study material.

In addition to step one of FactCheck, NewsMeter performed a reverse image search of the viral pictures of textbooks. The factcheker found reports from credible media organizations. According to the reports by the Times of India, the Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO) has asked the Telangana government to delete the content. It was referred to as islamophobic.

"The SIO Telangana chapter took strong exception to a picture published in the 'Question Bank' for the Social Studies (English medium) of class 8," TOI reported.

They referred to the viral textbook as a question bank.

With the help of keyword search, we also found a Twitter user claiming that it to be a study material of real-life beyond the textbook.

The team found a report by The Print. "These books are separate from the official textbooks published by the government for the Telangana state board, and are known as 'study materials', 'question banks' or 'guides'. They are published by private companies based on the state board syllabus and are widely used by students in Telangana as supplementary material," it reported.

One of the Twitter users said `VGS publisher' published the same in other study materials of class 8. The Print contacted the publisher via email and he said that they will delete the pictures and re-print the books.

Hence the claim is misleading. It is not Telangana government's class 8 social studies textbook. It is a Question bank- study material by a publisher of the 'Real Life' series of books. However, the publisher is yet to be identified.

Claim Review:Telangana Government class 8th books have islamophobic content in their social studies textbook.
Claimed By:Social Media User
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social media
Claim Fact Check:Misleading
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