At the time when Rajasthan government is under fire for dropping references to first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in a school textbook, a similar blunder at the Mumbai University has come to light.
According to a leading daily in Mumbai, a textbook for Political Science course, which has chapters on several prominent Indian leaders, has no reference to Nehru and has also portrayed the nationalist movements led by Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak as 'anti-secular.'
The newspaper has also highlighted the controversial excerpts from the textbook, titled Modern Indian Political Thought, showing Gandhi and Tilak in 'anti-secular light.'
According to the report, the textbook has opined that Gandhi's habit of using ‘Hindu idioms and similes’ forced Muhammad Ali Jinnah to break away from the Congress and India itself.
“It was unfortunate that Gandhi’s association with the nationalist movement and his penchant for using Hindu idioms and similes in the nationalist discourse infuriated Jinnah so much that he decided to leave not only the Congress but India itself,” read an excerpt, according to a mid-day report.
Tilak, meanwhile, has been accused of being anti-secular for “mixing religion with politics.”
“Starting of Ganesh Festival and invoking religious scriptures such as Bhagvad Gita for political actions were clear examples of mixing religion with politics and attitude that was categorically anti-secular,” opined the textbook in question,” according to the report.
The textbook in question has several chapters on Left ideology and has claimed that only Left parties refrained from indulging in communal politics, said the report.
Last week, a Class VII textbook in Rajasthan kicked off a controversy for omitting reference to Nehru.
Following the reports, Rajasthan School Education Minister Vasudev Devnani made a statement that the revised syllabus has the first prime minister's name at 15 places in different textbooks.
"The government has not omitted Nehru's name from textbooks. His name is there at 15 places in the revised books. The references to Nehru are available in textbooks of Class 7 (Hindi), Class 9 (Social science) and Class 11 (World History)," Devnani had said in a statement.
He said Nehru's role in freedom movement, introducing Panchayati Raj system and non-aligned movement have been given space in the revised textbooks.