In yet another printing error by the Gujarat State School Textbook Board, the Class IV Hindi textbook that it has published describes roza, or the practice of fasting by Muslims during the holy month of Ramzan, as an "infectious disease".
According to reports, the textbook features Premchand's well-known short story 'Idgah' and in the shabdaarth or word-meaning section at the end of the chapter, the meaning of the word 'roza' has been given as, "ek chaatak tatha sankramak rog jisme dast aur kaai ati hai (an infectious disease that leads to diarrhoea and vomiting)."
This error comes days after another embarrassing blunder by the board was revealed — the class IX Hindi language textbook uses the word "haivaan" (devil) before Jesus Christ instead of the intended word, "bhagwan" (God).
Explaining the board's error, GSSTB chairman Nitin Pethani reportedly said, "It is a grave mistake. There should be haiza (cholera) in place of roza, but mistakenly both these words have been interchanged."
Criticising the repeated errors, Mufti Shabbir Alam of Ahmedabad's Jama Masjid said that the blunder had hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslim community and that suitable action would be taken after discussions.
Gujarat education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said that the person responsible for the "serious mistake" will be "punished by making the name public."
"The culprit's remuneration will be withheld and he or she will be barred from textbook work," he added.
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