In supposed 'printing mistake' of mammoth proportions, Gujarat board's Class IX Hindi textbooks refer to Jesus Christ as 'Demon' (Haivaan) instead of 'God' (Bhagwan). The supposed 'mistake' has led to massive controversy with parents from the Christian community demanding the withdrawal of faulty textbooks.
While the textbook has created a massive uproar, the Gujarat State School Textbook Board has maintained that it was a genuine and unintended mistake. "Instead of the word 'Bhagwan', the word 'haivaan' got printed. We have already made the correction in the online version. Since books have already been distributed among students, it is not possible to withdraw them now," said Nitin Pethani the Executive President of the board. He added that a probe has been ordered into the incident.
The board now wants to issue advisory to all teachers and schools to correct the mistake while teaching. The Christian community is, however, seeing red over this development and have demanded that nothing short of a new textbook with necessary corrections will make up for the error.
The reference is made in one of the chapters on page 16 that describes the relationship between teacher and student in Indian culture. "Is sambandh me 'haivaan Issa' ka ek kathan sada smaraniya hai," the line reads. It translates to 'In this context, a statement by 'demon Jesus' is always memorable'.
Members of Christian community gathered outside the District Education Officer (DEO) in Ahmedabad and demanded that the book be withdrawn. They have also demanded an unconditional apology and have sought criminal action against those responsible for the error which is being looked at as an attempt to hurt religious sentiments.