Mumbai: Though the controversy over references to Jawaharlal Nehru being dropped from a school textbook in Rajasthan has caused a buzz, it has come to fore that the country's first Prime Minister has been missing from a MA course book of Mumbai University since last three years.
The book has also questioned '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, has long been available in market and was recently sent for reprint, coinciding with the Rajasthan Board's move to revise social science textbook for class VIII.
The course is conducted by the Institute of Distance and Open Learning of the varsity.
Earlier this month, references to Nehru have been removed from two chapters in the revised social science textbook for class VIII of Rajasthan Board.
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".
When asked why MU could not detect this earlier, Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh told PTI, "Expert Committee will review the content of the book in consultation with its author and will submit a report within a week. I will be able to say something concrete (on the issue) only after that".
Though there is no mention about Nehru's contribution to the freedom struggle and the nation building, several important leaders of independence movement find mention in the book.
The book stated that Mahatma Gandhi used too many 'Hindu idioms and similes' and pushed Muhammad Ali Jinnah to break away and form Pakistan. It added that the only side that did not play politics of religion was the Left.
A passage 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".
MU Registrar M.A. Khan said in a statement that content of the book is prima facie objectionable.
"The syllabus of the MA political science book is under the two-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," he stated....