Online education technology platform Unacademy has sparked many controversies. In the past, a video of an Unacademy tutor calling for students to pick up AK-47 had gone viral on the internet. Subsequently, another video of an Unacademy tutor going on a rant against Brahmins had surfaced on social media websites. Today, the online platform courted yet another controversy, reinforcing its Hinduphobic tendencies.
A social media user, Prakhar Bansal, who goes by the handle @PrakharBansal14, recently posted a screenshot that highlighted how the platform was peddling a dangerously anti-Hindu narrative through its online test module.
One of the questions on the platform’s Law Test Module read: “In a city named X, a group of Muslim people were carrying out their rally on the occasion of Eid. They were chanting their slogans and were celebrating their festivals. When they were passing through the streets of a Hindu dominated colony, the Hindus of the area started pelting stones at them and claimed that they outraged the religious feelings of Hindus. Is the claim correct?”
ऐसे धर्म संबंधी प्रश्न अनएकेडमी एप्प पर Law Tests में पूछे जा रहे हैं जहाँ एक धर्म को बुरी छवि में दिखाया जा रहा है। ‘हिंदू ने मुस्लिम पर पत्थर फेंके’ जैसे शब्दों का प्रयोग अत्यंत निंदनीय है एवं इसे उदाहरण के लिए उपयोग किया कहकर नकारा नहीं जा सकता एवं सहन नहीं किया जाएगा। पढ़ें👇 pic.twitter.com/IVBFZHawsg— Prakhar Bansal (@PrakharBansal14) May 19, 2021
Unacademy toes left-liberal propaganda of demonising Hindus
Even if one assumes that the objective of the question might have been to sensitise the exam takers towards the menace of existing religious intolerance in the society, the explicit mention of the names of the religions in the question, with the negative portrayal of one religion, signified that it was only meant to fan further communal discord in the society, and hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.
The negative portrayal of Hindus as the aggressors and the Muslims as the victims in the question by one of the test modules on Unacademy is unmistakable. In fact, it is in line with the left-liberal propaganda that tries often to demonise Hindus and whitewash the intolerant inclinations exhibited by Muslims.
When the online education platform used a figurative name ‘X’ to denote a town where the supposed incident took place, what stopped it from using abstract names to describe religions? The company could have surely used letters of the alphabet for religions similarly if its real objective was to explore the legitimacy of resentment felt by the members of one of two sparring communities. Instead, the real names of religions were deliberately used to project Hindus as an intolerant lot that harboured irrational hatred against Muslims.
The fact that the entrance exam questions are also inherently Hinduphobic in nature reveals how the entire system is rigged in perpetuating hatred against Hindus. Be it the opposition political parties, or the mainstream media, or the academicians and intellectuals, and now the technology platforms, the Hinduphobia is all too pervasive and systemic. A concerted attempt is being made to depict Hindus as villains while sweeping under the rug the hateful proclivities of the minorities, including Muslims.
Religions reversed to portray Hindus as aggressors and Muslims as victims
Besides, Unacademy shamelessly reversed the religion of the victims and the aggressors from real-world scenario — another trick out of the ‘liberal’ playbook — which entails interchanging the identities of victims and aggressors when the victims are Hindus and aggressors are non-Hindus. This is done to perpetuate the propaganda that Hindus are culprits while non-Hindus, including Muslims, are innocents.
While Unacademy would want us to believe that Hindus attacked Muslim devotees with stone-pelting, in the real-life world, exactly the opposite happens regularly. This has been the leitmotif of various communally charged-up skirmishes in various parts of the country. A mob of violent Muslims attacks Hindus for celebrating their festivals, or for taking out a religious procession in a Muslim majority area, which sometimes leads to clashes between the two communities.
Recently, a case of Muslim intolerance against Hindu festivals came up in the Madras High Court. Some Muslims in the district of Perambalur in Tamil Nadu have been objecting to the conduct of Hindu processions since 2012. They had consistently tried to stop and laid impediments to stop Hindus from carrying out their processions through Muslim-dominated regions. The community had dubbed the Hindu festivals as ‘sins’.
A petitioner had therefore approached the police for providing protection during the conduct of rituals and processions. The same was provided by the law enforcement authorities with restrictions.
When the matter came up for hearing before the Madras High Court, a 2-Judge Bench of N Kirubakarn and P Velmurugan noted that religious intolerance is detrimental to the secular fabric of the country. The Court noted that if such a ‘resistance’ to the conduct of religious festivals is reciprocated by another religious group, it might lead to riots and chaos.
While reading out the affidavit presented by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, the Madras High Court observed that objection to temple processions was raised from 2012 onwards. The Judges observed how no such problem existed prior to 2012. The Court pointed out how objections were raised by the Muslim community despite the Court granting permission to the Hindus to carry out temple processions (in accordance with Section 180A of the District Municipalities Act 1920).
In December 2020, Muslim mob pelted stones at Hindu groups for carrying out yatra near Begumbagh in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. According to the reports, several Hindus had taken out a Ramnidhi Sangrahan rally in Ujjain to collect donations for the Ram Mandir constructions at Ayodhya. The rally was scheduled to start from the tower area and end at Bharat Mata Mandir in Mahakal area.
As the rally reached the Muslim-dominated area of Begumbagh, a mob targeted the rally and pelted stones at them from the rooftops. The Hindu activists saw themselves surrounded in heavy stone pelting and escaped towards safety. However, they left their vehicles on the spot.
In February 2020, four separate incidents of attack on Hindus during the Saraswati Puja celebrations by Muslim mobs were reported from various places in Jharkhand. According to Jagran report, in Jharkhand’s Vidyasagar, Muslim mobs attacked Hindus who were carrying out a procession of Goddess Saraswati ahead of idol immersion. As they crossed locality dominated by Muslims, the local residents objected against Hindus playing religious songs near Karmatar area.
Unacademy apologises, blames third party for the question
After the widespread outrage on social media over the Hinduphobic question, the educational technology company announced that they have taken down the mock IPC examination paper containing the controversial question. They said that any hurt or offence caused is deeply regretted, and said that they unconditionally regret the reference to religions.
Unacademy added that the question paper was prepared by a third-party, and they have started efforts to tighten their internal review and quality process. The company also said that the future test papers will be scrutinised and modified to ensure that they are religion, community, and race agnostic.