In yet another shocker from the Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB), a class IV Hindi textbook prescribed for Hindi-medium students defines Roza as – “Ek chaatak aur sankramak rog jisme dast aur kai aati hai” (an infectious disease that causes diarrhoea and vomiting). Roza is the fast Muslims keep in the holy month of Ramzan.

According to a Times of India report, this error was found in the definitions section of chapter 3 of the textbook titled ‘Eidgah’, a story by the legendary Hindi author, Premchand.

“It is a grave mistake. The word ‘roza’ has been confused with ‘haija’ or infectious cholera,” Nitin Pethani, Executive Director of GSSTB, was quoted as saying in The times of India. Pethani who is under fire for the error-riddled textbooks, said that an emergency review of all textbooks will be made to stop such blunders from reaching students.

Following the incident, Mufti Shabbir Alam of the city-based Jama Masjid said that the blunder has hurt religious sentiments and that he will discuss this within their community and take action.

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Pethani insisted that the mistakes were typos and there was no intention to hurt sentiments of any religion. Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said, “I had the textbook checked and I admit that it is a serious mistake. We will institute an inquiry to determine how this error occurred.”

The minister also said that the culprit — be it the writer, proof-reader, or data entry operator — will be punished by making the name public. The guilty would also be barred from textbook work.

Earlier, another ‘error’ caused outrage among the Christian community in Gujarat after a class IX textbook of Hindi (second language) used ‘haivaan’ (demon) to describe Jesus. Calling the mistake a “typographical error”, the board issued a clarification in its monthly magazine and directed all Hindi schoolteachers to replace ‘haivaan’ with ‘bhagwaan’ (Lord).

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