Dumb? Gujarat Board textbook mentions Jesus Christ as 'demon'; calls it typo

Faith Castro
June 12, 2017

Summary: AHMEDABAD: Controversy erupted over the class 9 Hindi (second language) textbook published by the Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB) using adjective "hevaan" or demon before Jesus Christ. "Instead of the word "Bhagwan", the word "haivaan" got printed".

"This was nothing but a printing mistake".

Meanwhile, the GSSTB chairman and the education minister have already promised to correct the error soon.

He said the book must be withdrawn and/or re-issued only after incorporating corrections, and the state government must re-assure the minority communities about its commitment to protect them.

In chapter 16 of the book titled "Bharatiya Sanskriti Mein Guru- Shishya Sambandh" ("Relationship between a guru and his disciples in Indian culture") on page 70, the line refers to Jesus Christ as - "Iss sambandh mein haivan Isa ka ek kathan sadaa smaraniya hain". "(In this context, a statement by "demon Jesus" is always memorable)".

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Taking offence, several members of the Christian community gathered outside the office of the District Education Officer (DEO) here and demanded withdrawal of the book.

"The textbook has depicted our God in a bad light". 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. He described the error as a deliberate act which meant to hurt religious sentiment, as stipulated in the IPC's section 295 (a), News 18 reported.

Christians in India's Gujarat state are asking officials to remove a book that is now in use in public schools, in which Jesus is described as a demon. Such wild and reckless statements have the potential to spark off a conflagration that could seriously jeopardise communal harmony.

The book is "simply unacceptable and should be removed immediately", said a spokesman for the Christian protesters, noting the law that bans deliberate offenses against religious faith.

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