New Delhi: A panel of experts appointed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has recommended to use of the term ‘Bharat’ instead of ‘India’ in all school textbooks. The panel, which was formed to review the curriculum framework for school education, submitted its report to the NCERT director, who said that the proposal is yet to be approved.
The panel argued that the term ‘Bharat’ is more appropriate and inclusive than ‘India’, as it reflects the cultural and linguistic diversity of the country. The panel also said that the term ‘Bharat’ is mentioned in the Constitution and has historical and mythological significance.
The proposal, however, has sparked a controversy, as it comes at a time when the Centre is facing criticism from the opposition parties for replacing ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in official documents and invitations. The first such instance was noticed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited to an ASEAN event as the “Prime Minister of Bharat”. Later, President Ram Nath Kovind hosted a G20 dinner on behalf of the “President of Bharat”.
The opposition parties have accused the government of trying to impose its ideological agenda and erase the identity of India. They have also questioned the need and timing of such a change when the country is facing several challenges such as Covid-19, economic slowdown, and border tensions.