Even as the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru’s name being dropped from the Rajasthan Board textbook is still fresh, a Maharashtra University textbook has labelled Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak as ‘anti-secular’ and skipped Nehru’s name from its pages.
According to a Mid-Day report, while there are chapters on several prominent Indian leaders in the textbook for the Political Science course at MU’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning, there is not a single one India’s first Prime Minister.
Highlighting the excerpts from the book titled ‘Modern Indian Political Thought’, the report says that the book labels Tilak and Gandhi as ‘anti-secular’ and blames the Father of the Nation for ‘using Hindu idioms and similes in the nationalist discourse’ and pushing Muhammad Ali Jinnah to break away from Pakistan.
On Jinnah, the excerpt says that he was a ‘truly nationalist and secular leader’ who had to ‘leave the nationalist movement’ because of ‘ego clashes with Gandhi’ and end up as Quaid-e-Azam of the Muslims’, wherein he had to share the major responsibility for dividing the subcontinent and creating Pakistan.
The book also blames Tilak for invoking religious scriptures and mixing religion with politics.
However, Surendra Jondhale, MU’s course co-ordinator and complier of the book, told the daily that Gandhiji did religious politics, which eventually led to the partition and that politics should be kept away from the religion.