• July 19, 2024

NCERT panel suggests replacing India with Bharat in textbooks

A committee constituted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has recommended replacing “India” with “Bharat” in the school textbooks for all classes, and that “classical history” be taught instead of “ancient history” to correct narrative about the country’s past. NCERT Chairman Dinesh Saklani, however, stated till now no decision has been taken on the panel’s recommendations.

Chairperson of the high-level committee set up to suggest changes in social sciences curriculum, C I Isaac said they have suggested swapping the name “India” with “Bharat” in the textbooks, introducing “classical history”, instead of “ancient history” which is being taught now, in the curriculum and including the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) in the syllabus for all subjects.

The council later posted on X: “NCERT states that 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.”

“Bharat is an age-old name. The name Bharat has been used in ancient texts, such as Vishnu Purana, which is 7,000 years old,” the Padma Shree awardee told a news agency.

Classical history

According to Isaac, the committee has also recommended highlighting “Hindu victories” in various battles in the textbooks. This is being done since, she elaborated, “our failures are presently mentioned in the textbooks” “but our victories over the Mughals and sultans are not”.

“The British had divided Indian history into three phases — ancient, medieval and modern — showing India in darkness, unaware of scientific knowledge and progress. Therefore, we have suggested that the classical period of Indian history be taught in schools, along with the medieval and modern periods,” she added.

‘Hysterical’

Opposition, meanwhile, slammed the government for what they charged trying to change history out of fear of defeat at the hands of the INDIA. The word “India” evoked as much pride as “Bharat”, but the ruling dispensation wants “to indoctrinate an entire generation into hating a word we grew up feeling a lot of pride towards,” Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said.

Similarly, RJD MP Manoj Jha alleged, “It has been a hysterical reaction of this regime (BJP) ever since the INDIA alliance was formed. Will they change the name of country to ‘Jambudweep’ or some other name if the INDIA alliance changes its name to ‘BHARAT’?”

The NCERT is revising the curriculum of the school textbooks in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The council recently constituted a 19-member National Syllabus and Teaching Learning Material Committee (NSTC) to finalise the curriculum, textbooks and learning material for these classes.

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