India is to be referred to as ‘Bharat’ by CBSE students and in classrooms ‘at home, they can say whatever,’ the man behind the proposal for NCERT textbooks said. He further emphasised that the idea is to come out of the ‘colonial mindset’.

“Our mindset is toned by colonial education. Now it is a new education system. New chapter. Something new is needed, nothing traditional,” retired Professor CI Issacs, heading the Committee for Social Sciences, told NDTV. 

The NCERT panel on Wednesday suggested replacing ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in school textbooks. It also recommended introducing “classical history”, instead of “ancient history” and including “Indian Knowledge System” in the syllabus.

On why this had to be included in textbooks, Isaac mentioned that ‘it is meant for teachers’

“Of course, teachers will say India, they were also products of colonial education, like me,” he said and added,  “The change can be effected in the textbooks of senior classes, starting from Class 8.”

He further mentioned that the rule is applicable only to CBSE students. ‘At home, they can say whatever.’

Kerala, Bengal  oppose the move

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said that the recommendation to replace ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in textbooks is unacceptable.

“As per the decision of NCERT’s Committee on Social Science, the word ‘India’ should be changed to ‘Bharat’ in the textbooks of the academic branch. The Constitution refers to our nation as both India and Bharat. The politics behind avoiding India in it is as clear as daylight,” Pinarayi Vijayan said in a statement.

“This change appears to be another step in the Sangh Parivar’s ongoing effort to impose their divisive communalism in our educational institutions and curriculum. I urge all citizens to unite and safeguard the essence of ‘India’, a nation founded on the principles of unity in diversity. Let’s celebrate our diverse heritage and embrace our pluralistic identity with pride,” he added.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Education Minister and ruling Trinamool Congress leader, Bratya Basu, also came down heavily against the recommendation, saying, “This is a ridiculous recommendation. It’s clear that the BJP-ruled central government is scared of the word INDIA. It’s a bizarre decision. The move sets a wrong precedent and it appears that they are afraid of INDIA and (TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee.”



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Published: 27 Oct 2023, 10:40 AM IST