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Online test platform Gradeup blames center spreading riots in Bengal, apologizes after social media uproar

"We sincerely apologize that this content slipped through our rigorous screening process. We are conducting an internal investigation to find out the source so that such incidents never happen in the future", the statement by Gradeup said.

Online study portal Gradeup was caught up in a fresh controversy after they resorted to peddling massive false propaganda against the BJP by claiming that the party has a history of spreading riots in West Bengal.

On Wednesday, social media user Anshul Saxena, who goes by the handle @Askanshul, posted a screenshot highlighting how Gradeup was peddling misinformation and false political narratives against the Union government in one of its online test modules.

According to the screenshot, in one of their recently held test modules, Gradeup had put out a multiple choice question declaring that the party that rules the center has a history of perpetrating riots in West Bengal.

Here is the questions put out by Gradeup in its the platform:

Principle: When the Central Government and a State government make a rule on the same issue, the rule made by the center shall prevail.

Facts: The state of Bengal makes a rule to provide food to Bangladeshi refugees. Whereas, the center, which is under another party which has been involved in sparking many riots in the state, makes a rule for providing shelter to the refugees. Which of the rules is valid?

Image Source: Anshul Saxena

The screenshot of the Gradeup test module has now gone viral on the internet evoking a strong response from the netizens, who have blamed them for peddling political propaganda that is exactly opposite to the reality.

Gradeup peddles false political propaganda, tries to whitewash crimes of the Mamata Banerjee-led state government

Through it is a mock test question, Gradeup tries to subtly propagate lies by claiming that the party ruling the center was inciting violence in West Bengal. Even though there are no direct references to any political parties in the test module, there are enough hints to see the false political propaganda pushed against the BJP by the Gradeup examiners under the guise of online test modules.

The question put out by the Gradeup has two parts to it. The first part, that is ‘the Problem’, discusses the relationship between the state government and the center, especially in a legislative domain. However, in the second part of the question, referred to as ‘Facts,’ the Gradeup examiners straightaway jump to peddle their inherent hatred against the BJP by bringing two aspects to it. One, Bangladeshi Refugees, and the other is the riots in the state of West Bengal.

Considering that the question was related to administration, the statement regarding a particular party allegedly sparking riots in the state was not needed at all.

Though not named, the party in the center in the question refers to the BJP, and the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal is referred to as a state of Bengal.

It is worth mentioning that the BJP and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC have come to face-to-face several times on the two aspects – Bangladeshi ‘Refugees’ and the political violence in West Bengal. It is not an unknown fact that the BJP, which is in power at the center, has taken steps to stop the entry of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh to India.

It is also important to note that the BJP, which is gaining its foothold in Bengal, is one of the victims of state-sponsored violence in West Bengal. Dozens of its workers have been murdered in the state by TMC goons.

However, the Gradeup examiners, giving no credence to any facts, put out a factually incorrect and politically motivated assertion, saying that the center, ruled by a particular party, has sparked many riots in West Bengal. Interestingly, this particular question comes amidst the continuing political violence in the state of West Bengal perpetrated by the goons associated with the Trinamool Congress, thus raising questions on the intentions of the examiners.

Political violence and riots in West Bengal

Ever since Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress took the reigns of power in West Bengal, the political violence has increased in the state, especially against her political rivals. With BJP making inroads in the state, the ruling Trinamool Congress fears the saffron party’s presence and has used all sorts of intimidation tactics to keep BJP in check.

The BJP’s victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections set the tone of increased political violence in the state. Mamata Banerjee-led state government has given active support for the Trinamool cadres to carry out violence against political rivals in the state. The victory of the Trinamool Congress in the recently held West Bengal state elections has worsened the situation in the state as the followers of the TMC have perpetrated extreme violence against the BJP cadres in Bengal.

More than a dozen BJP workers have lost their lives in the post-poll violence that ensued following the victory of the TMC party in the assembly elections on May 2. The violence unleashed against them forced hundreds of BJP party workers and supporters to flee their villages along with their families.

However, the Gradeup examiners, ignoring the reality of the politics of West Bengal, try to not only whitewashes the crimes perpetrated by the goons associated with the West Bengal state government in its test module but also tries to pin the blame on the BJP supporters for the violence in the state.

Gradeup apologises, says they have removed the content

After the widespread outrage on social media over the false political propaganda, the online mock test platform put out a statement apologizing for putting out such factually incorrect questions. The education platform said that quiz questions containing a government-related issue have been taken down.

“We sincerely apologize that this content slipped through our rigorous screening process. We are conducting an internal investigation to find out the source so that such incidents never happen in the future. We assure you that strict action will be taken in line with our company policies. We are further strengthening our internal review process to avoid any errors in the future. We deeply regret any inconvenience caused,” Gradeup issued the statement.

The company further claimed that their faculties and students come from all states, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, and communities, and they are committed to delivering content that is unbiased and is neutral to any religion, state, community, or race.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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