Governor of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh P B Acharya has expressed shock and dismay over reports that in the class IX Hindi language textbook published by the Gujarat Board, the word ‘haivaan’ (devil) was used before Jesus Christ. In a letter addressed to the Governor of Gujarat Om Prakash Kohli on Monday, Governor Acharya said “such mendacious action by irresponsible employees not only hurt the sentiments, but also jeopardise communal harmony.”
Acharya, through the letter, also called for stern action and punishment against those responsible, stated a Raj Bhavan release in Kohima. The Governor also spoke to his counterpart in Gujarat about the seriousness of the matter, the release said. Raj Bhavan officials said Kohli has expressed regret and assured Acharya of taking up the matter urgently with the Gujarat State Education minister and initiate action against the persons concerned.
In a blunder, a class IX Hindi language textbook published by the Gujarat Board has used the word ‘haivaan’ (devil) before Jesus Christ, instead of the intended word ‘bhagwan’ (God) in a passage in one of its chapters, which has triggered protests from the Christian community.
Left embarrassed, officials of the Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB), the publisher of the textbook, have rectified the blunder in the online version of the book available on their website and removed the controversial word.
Assuring an internal inquiry, GSSTB executive president Nitin Pethani has said it was a “printing mistake”. The controversial reference appears on page 16, which is in the chapter titled “Teacher-student relationship in Indian culture”.