Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday hailed the recommendation by the committee of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on replacing 'India' with 'Bharat' in school textbooks and said, "Ye kaam bahut acha hua hai bharat ka jayjaykar hona chahiye desh mei."
Sharing similar sentiments, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Tarun Chugh also hailed the recommendation by the committee of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on changing 'India' with 'Bharat'.
"'Bharat' is in our DNA. We have been 'Bharat' for centuries. What is the problem with this? The name 'Bharat' provides recognition to the country's soil. The initiative is indeed welcomed', Chugh said while speaking to ANI on Thursday.
Criticising the opposition for condemning the decision, Chugh said, "What is the problem with the Congress party? It is this party that raises anti-national slogans in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The soil of this country has been 'Bharat' for centuries, and it will remain the same".
An NCERT panel, headed by historian CI Issac, recommended replacing 'India with Bharat' in school textbooks.The recommendations were made by a seven-member Committee for Social Sciences, which is among the committees constituted by the NCERT to prepare position papers on various subjects.
The panel chaired by Issac was among the 25 committees formed by the NCERT in December 2021 to prepare position papers on various subjects and themes.
Speaking to ANI over the phone, Issac said the "term India started being used commonly only after the establishment of the East India Company and the battle of Plassey in 1757"."We have unanimously recommended that the 'Bharat' should be used in textbooks for students across classes."
A controversy had broken out over the panel recommendations with some opposition leaders alleging that "confusion" was being created as several institutions use 'India' in their names.
Labelling the move as a "political decision", Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said, "It is unfortunate that an India Vs Bharat narrative is being put forward. (The words) 'India that is Bharat' were inscribed into our Constitution by none other than Dr. BR Ambedkar. The coming generations won't forgive them (the Centre) for making this differentiation. India is also Bharat and Hindustan for us. If the BJP had any sense of national pride, the name 'India' wouldn't be changed to 'Bharat'."
Meanwhile NCERT on Wednesday said that "it is too premature to comment" on reports in sections of media concerning changing 'India' to 'Bharat' in its textbooks and noted that the development of a new syllabus and textbooks is in the process for which groups of domain experts are being notified by it.