A Class IV Hindi textbook of the Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB) has explained the Urdu word roza or fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramzan as “an infectious disease that causes diarrhoea and vomiting.”
The error was spotted on page number 13 at the end of the chapter three— a story ‘Idgah’ by Premchand— of the Hindi textbook. In the chapter, the word roza is explained as “ek chaatak tatha sankramak rog jisme dast aur kaai ati hai (an infectious disease that gets diarrhoea and vomiting)”.
This comes days after GSSTB faced backlash for referring to Jesus as ‘haivaan’ or devil in its Class IX Hindi textbook.
Mujahid Nafees, an activist, said that the error was a deliberate attempt to hurt the religious sentiments of the minority communities.
“We believe that the mistake is a deliberate attempt to hurt the religious sentiments, especially of the minority community members. We had earlier brought to the notice of the authorities derogatory words used for Jesus Christ,” he told PTI.
However, in their defence, the GSSTB officials said that it was a printing error.
“This is a printing error. There should be haiza (cholera) in place of roza, but mistakenly both these words have been inter-changed.”
“We will issue a correction for Hindi-medium schools… Not more than 15,000 copies of this textbook were published due to a limited number of Hindi-medium students,” (GSSTB) chairman Nitin Pethani told Indian Express.