Oppn slams govt over NCERT push to replace 'India' with 'Bharat'

RJD's Manoj Kumar Jha calls it the change in textbooks a "hysterical and panic-induced reaction"; Congress' K.C. Venugopal notes the history of ''pride attached to" the word 'India'

Controversy erupts as an NCERT (logo pictured) panel recommends replacing 'India' with 'Bharat' in school textbooks
 (photo: National Herald archives)
Controversy erupts as an NCERT (logo pictured) panel recommends replacing 'India' with 'Bharat' in school textbooks (photo: National Herald archives)


Congress and the other Opposition parties on Wednesday, 25 October, slammed the Central government over the NCERT panel's recommendation "to replace 'India' with 'Bharat' in Social Science school textbooks".

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Congress general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal said: "These name-changers want to indoctrinate an entire generation into hating a word we grew up feeling a lot of pride towards."

"Be it Team India on the field, or the Indian Space Research Organisation — the word India evokes pride just as much as Bharat. Their fear of a resounding defeat at the hands of INDIA (Opposition bloc) is making them take such desperate steps," the Congress leader posted.

RJD Rajya Sabha member Manoj Kumar Jha said: "Under this government, I am surprised with the character of the institutions. Since the time the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc was formed in July this year, different reactions have been coming from the prime minister to his ministers. Nobody has been able to come up with a name for the alliance to attack it. This is a hysterical and panic-induced reaction." 

"The NCERT is doing this. What will you do with Article 1 (of the Constitution) which says 'India, that is, Bharat'? I am unable to understand. They are playing with historical facts. This means history will be written on the basis of counterfactual imagination. They will also play with the name of India," the Rajya Sabha MP said in a video statement.

The sharp reactions came after a high-level committee for social sciences, constituted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to revise the school curriculum, recommended that 'India' should be replaced with 'Bharat' in the school textbooks for all classes.

After a backlash over the development, the NCERT said it was "premature" to comment.

"Since the development of new syllabus and textbooks is in the process and for that purpose various Curricular Area Groups of domain experts are being notified by the NCERT, so it is too premature to comment on the news being flashed in the media," it said in a statement.

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