A Class 9 Hindi textbook of the Gujarat State Board, in an embarrassing mistake, describes Jesus Christ as a demon and goes on to add that stories of this "demon" would be remembered forever. The education minister and the chairman of the board, having realised their mistake, said that it would be rectified soon.
Officials were quoted by News18 as saying that the error was due to a misprint. Jesus Christ is referred to as a "demon" in chapter 16 of the Hindi textbook titled 'Bharatiya Sanskriti Mein Guru-Shishya Sambandh', meaning the "relationship between a guru and his disciples in Indian culture."
Nitin Pethani, chairman of the Gujarat State Board of School Textbooks, was quoted by the channel as saying that it was a typographical error. "The word "haiva", a disciple of Jesus Christ, got misprinted as "haivan", meaning a demon," he said. Pethani added that "Aadam Isa" and "Haiva Isa" were the two disciples of Christ and an "n" got printed in the book by mistake.
The line on page 70 of the textbook, which refers to Jesus Christ as a "demon", reads: "Iss sambandh mein haivan Isa ka ek kathan sadaa smaraniya hain (in this context, an incident of demon Jesus will always be remembered)."
Advocate Subramaniam Iyer noticed the mistake in the textbook and said that the mistake in the book "attracts section 295(a) of the IPC that pertains to hurting the religious sentiments of any class." He added that the mistake may be unitententional but could create tensions between communities leading to law and order problems.
Meanwhile, the Christian community in Gujarat gathered outside the district education office in the state demanding that the licence of the publication be cancelled as it hurt the sentiments of their community, DNA reported. They have also demanded that the education minister apologise to the community for their mistake.