DIMAPUR, June 14 - While Nagaland Governor PB Acharya has expressed shock and dismay over the Class IX Hindi textbook in Gujarat published by Gujarat Board describing Lord Jesus Christ as �Haivaan� (devil), Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), the apex body of Baptist Christians in the State, has taken serious note of the offending chapter and demanded apology from the Gujarat Government to the Christian community in the country.
In a letter addressed to Gujarat Governor Om Prakash Kohli, Governor Acharya said such mendacious action by irresponsible employees not only hurt the sentiments but also jeopardised communal harmony and called for stern action against the persons responsible as per law.
Acharya also spoke to his Gujarat counterpart about the seriousness of the matter. Kohli assured to take up the matter urgently with Gujarat State Education Minister and to take action against the person concerned. The Gujarat Governor also expressed his regret over the matter.
Class IX Hindi (second language) textbook, published by Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB), had used an adjective �haivaan� or demon before Jesus Christ. Chapter 16 in the textbook titled �Bharatiya sanskriti mein guru-shishya sambandh� (teacher-student relationship in Indian culture) says �Is sambandh me haivaan Isa ka ek kathan sada smaraniya hai (In this context, one statement of demon Jesus is always memorable).
After the matter came to light, Gujarat Education Department has remarked that the reference to Jesus as haivaan (demon) was a printing error, and assured that it will be corrected.
�Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour of the Christians and not a demon as was printed in the class IX text book in Gujarat,� NBCC said in a release.
It said though the Gujarat authority has tried to pass the error as printing mistake, it has hurt the sentiment of the minority Christians in the country.
�The explanation came short of apology to the community. It is not enough to verbally state that it is an error because for millions of Christians, Jesus is Lord and Saviour. To call Jesus as a demon (haivaan) is not only a mistake but an insult,� the NBCC stated.
It urged Gujarat Education Department not only to correct the error but also apologise to the Christian community and educate the students in the country that �we must learn to respect and honour the beliefs of each religion whether they be major or minor.�
As assured by Gujarat Education Minister, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, the NBCC demanded that the error should not only be corrected by due apology be tendered to the Christian community in the country.