Internet error led to boozy Christ in Indian textbook

NEW DELHI: The publisher of an Indian school

textbook that included a picture of Jesus Christ with a beer can and cigarette said the image was taken from the Internet and used by mistake, a report said today.

The picture was discovered in a handwriting book for children in church-run schools in the Christian-majority northeastern state of Meghalaya where it was used to illustrate the letter “I” for the word “Idol.” “It was a human error,” Inder Mohan Jha, director of the New Delhi-based Skyline Publications, told the Indian Express newspaper, blaming it on a design agency tasked with the layout and content of the book.

“They seem to have lifted an offensive photo off the Internet,” he added.

A court has issued an arrest warrant against him for offending religious sentiment. The incident also drew condemnation from Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on Monday.

The Roman Catholic Church in India has banned all textbooks by Skyline, while Protestant leaders called for a public apology. “I apologise for my mistake. I have tendered my apology with a local newspaper,” in Shillong, capital of Meghalaya, he was quoted as saying. As many as 200 books were distributed in December in Shillong.