Derogatory remarks about Jesus in textbooks: Error pointed out, but not corrected, reveals probe report

As per the records obtained by The Indian Express, at the first stage when the first copy (photocopy) of the content that was reviewed by a team of 15 members, the error was raised as the word preceding “Jesus” was not clear.

Written by RITU SHARMA | Ahmedabad | Published:July 5, 2017 4:06 am
School textbooks, Gujarat State School Textbook Board, Textbook derogatory remark, derogatory Jesus Christ, indian express, India news An inquiry committee member, who was also part of the 15-member team, said they had specifically highlighted in written that the word, Bhagwan, should precede “Jesus”.

The inquiry committee, which was set up by the Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB) to look into the derogatory remarks on Jesus Christ in Class IX Hindi textbooks , has found that despite the error being pointed out at various levels, from content review to proofreading, the correction was not carried out. The committee has termed the proofreader, writer-editor and Ahmedabad-based printer responsible for the error in the texbooks that were printed in 2016. While the former two were issued show cause notices on Monday, the inquiry committee recommended blacklisting the printer.

GSSTB Chairman Nitin Pethani, heading the committee, confirmed the role of proofreader, writer-editor and the publisher in “allowing” such an error. “They are not on payrolls of the board but hired as and when required, a practice we have been following since long. The concerned proofreader has been working with the GSSTB for the last five to six years while the writer-editor since 2006,” said he.

Pethani added different committees, entrusted with reviewing and proofreading textbooks, had pointed out the error, right from the first hand-written draft to first printed copy that was proofread at least four to five times before going for the final publication. The board is, however, not ruling out the possibility of a “deliberate” attempt to miss out the correction. As per the records obtained by The Indian Express, at the first stage when the first copy (photocopy) of the content that was reviewed by a team of 15 members, the error was raised as the word preceding “Jesus” was not clear. An inquiry committee member, who was also part of the 15-member team, said they had specifically highlighted in written that the word, Bhagwan, should precede “Jesus”. “A word with similar spelling was there but was not clear as the entire left corner of the page, on which the content was reviewed, was vertically blackened due to faulty photocopy,” he revealed.

As per the records obtained by The Indian Express, at the first stage when the first copy (photocopy) of the content that was reviewed by a team of 15 members, the error was raised as the word preceding “Jesus” was not clear. An inquiry committee member, who was also part of the 15-member team, said they had specifically highlighted in written that the word, Bhagwan, should precede “Jesus”. “A word with similar spelling was there but was not clear as the entire left corner of the page, on which the content was reviewed, was vertically blackened due to faulty photocopy,” he revealed.

Later, during proofreading of the first printed draft, the error was again highlighted and edited before sending for final printing. “Along with the proofreader and editor, the publisher is at fault as the correction was not carried out despite being highlighted in bold,” added Pethani. What is even more surprising that while other corrections, highlighted on the page, were made but not this particular one. The proceedings of the probe panel, which was set up after recent protests by Christians are still underway. The GSSTB, though, has corrected the error in its online edition, it claimed recalling the textbooks was not feasible. The corrections, however, have been made in the second edition of the textbooks. The GSSTB also recently issued an apology in newspapers.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results
    Express Adda