Nehru Omitted from Mumbai University Textbook, Left Party Praised

Mahatma Gandhi and Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak are termed ‘anti-secular’ in the textbook.

2 min read
A bunch of  kids pose with Jawaharlal Nehru (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href="">‏@rachitseth</a>)

A Rajasthan school recently revised its social science textbook and removed several mentions of Jawaharlal Nehru and the Right to Information Act (RTI). Even though Rajasthan is facing the heat, Mumbai University has been getting away with a similar blunder for some time now.

A textbook in the Political Science course at MU has chapters on several Indian leaders, but India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru is not one of them. A report on Mid-Day suggests that the Left ideology is focused in various parts of the book.

The October 2015 textbook that was analysed by <i>Mid-Day. </i>(Photo: <i><a href="">Mid-Day</a></i>)
The October 2015 textbook that was analysed by Mid-Day. (Photo: Mid-Day)

Additionally, freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, have been termed ‘anti-secular’ and blamed for using too many ‘Hindu idioms and similies.’

“The book blames Mahatma Gandhi for using too many ‘Hindu idioms and similes’ and pushing Muhammad Ali Jinnah to break away and form Pakistan. According to the book, the only side that didn’t play with politics of religion is the Left front,” the report said.

Surendra Jondhale, Mumbai University’s course coordinator, head of the Civics and Politics department, and curator of the text, had this to say in its defence.

Left party had nothing to do with religion. Not just Jinnah, but also Dr BR Ambedkar severely criticised Gandhi and Congress for doing politics that was Hindu-oriented and bringing the Hinduism issue to the freedom movement. The gist here is to show how everybody used religion in politics, which was wrong.
Surendra Jondhale, curator of the book, Mumbai University
Surendra Jondhale, head of the Civics and Politics department of Mumbai University. (Photo Courtesy: <i><a href="">Mid-Day</a></i>)
Surendra Jondhale, head of the Civics and Politics department of Mumbai University. (Photo Courtesy: Mid-Day)

Below are few lines about Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the textbook that were highlighted by Mid-Day.

Mahatma Gandhi

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.

To this, the compiler of the textbook, Jondhale, responded:

In the entire freedom struggle, Gandhiji did religious politics, which led to actions and reactions, eventually leading to the Partition.
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi. (Photo: iStockphoto)
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Muhammad Ali Jinnah

It was one of those paradoxes of history that a truly nationalist and secular leader had to leave the nationalist movement, mainly because of ego clashes with Gandhi, and ended up as the Quaid-e-Azam of the Muslims.

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