On Wednesday, October 25, Congress and other Opposition parties slammed the Central government over the NCERT’s panel recommendation which asked “to replace ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in Social Science school textbooks”.
K.C. Venugopal, Congress general secretary (organisation), in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, said, “These name-changers want to indoctrinate an entire generation into hating a word we grew up feeling a lot of pride towards.”
The Congress leader posted, “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,”
“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,” said RJD Rajya Sabha member Manoj Kumar Jha.
In a video statement, the Rajya Sabha MP said, “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.”
These varied, sharp reactions emerged after a high-level committee for social sciences, constituted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) recommended that ‘India’ should be replaced with ‘Bharat’ in school textbooks of all classes. After facing a backlash over the issue, the NCERT said it was “premature” to comment.
In a statement, it said, “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.”