MU course book has no mention of Nehru

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Mumbai, May 18: Amid the row over references to Jawaharlal Nehru being dropped from a school textbook in Rajasthan, the country's first Prime Minister has now gone missing from an MA course book of Mumbai University, which also questions the secular credentials of Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

The book titled 'Modern Indian Political Thought', for Master of Arts (MA) course under the MU's Distance Learning Programme, is meant for the upcoming academic year and is not yet available in the market.


The course is conducted by the Institute of Distance and Open Learning of the varsity. The MU has ordered an inquiry by an Expert Committee while conceding that the views expressed in the book by Professor Jondhale appear to be "objectionable".

Though there is no mention about Nehru's contribution to the freedom struggle and nation building, several important leaders of independence movement find mention in the book. The book states that Mahatma Gandhi used too many "Hindu idioms and similes" and pushed Muhammad Ali Jinnah to break away and form Pakistan.

It adds that the only side that did not play politics over religion was the Left. Earlier this month, references to Nehru were removed from two chapters in the revised social science textbook for class VIII of Rajasthan Board.

A passage in the MU book on Tilak reads, "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".

Issuing a statement on the row, the MU said the content of the book is prima facie objectionable. "The syllabus of the MA political science book is under the three-year distance learning programme.

Recent controversy is on the views published in the book by Professor Jondhale, which seem to be objectionable prima facie.

"Vice-Chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh has ordered inquiry by an expert committee. Appropriate action will be taken after receiving the report," said Dr M A Khan, Registrar, University of Mumbai.


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