Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed opposition to the recent recommendation by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to replace "India" with "Bharat" in school textbooks. In a statement delivered in Thiruvananthapuram, he called on all citizens to unite and protect the fundamental essence of "India."
Vijayan raised concerns that the NCERT's recommendation is just one in a series of actions that seem to exclude significant historical narratives, such as Mughal history, and the ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) following Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, from educational materials. He emphasized that the political motives behind this recommendation are evident and transparent.
"The politics behind the move are as clear as day", he said.
The veteran leader from the Left alleged that the NCERT has consistently favored the efforts of the Sangh Parivar, an umbrella term used to describe the family of Hindu nationalist organizations, in distorting historical facts. Furthermore, he accused the high-level committee for social sciences appointed by the NCERT of displaying eagerness to "whitewash" what he described as the "fake history" fabricated by these organizations.
Taking to the social media, Vijayan tweeted on his official X handle and wrote, "The recent proposal by NCERT to replace 'India' with 'Bharat' in textbooks is not acceptable. Our Constitution recognizes both names, and 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."
Vijayan further implied that the Sangh has always been against the idea of “India” based on pluralism and coexistence.