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‘Narrow politics’: Kerala minister on recommendations for ‘Bharat’ in NCERT books

Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty on Thursday spoke against the recommendations sent to the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) proposing to replace the word India with ‘Bharat’ and termed the move as “narrow politics”.

Sivankutty also questioned the intent behind the move and said there are “twisted interests” involved. Sivankutty said that Kerala rejects the recommendations given by one of the NCERT committees for Social Sciences.

“Citizens have the right to use India or Bharat as mentioned in the Constitution. It is with twisted interests that they are saying from now on we should use only Bharat. This is narrow politics. Kerala cannot accept this,” he said.

Furthermore, the Kerala minister revealed that a State Curriculum Committee will be constituted and 44 textbooks currently being used will be discussed in detail.

“We will convene a State Curriculum Committee and discuss in detail the work of preparing the 44 textbooks currently used in the state, keeping academic interests in mind,” he said.

Saying that Kerala rejects moves to twist “historical facts”, Sivankutty said, “Earlier, when NCERT removed certain portions (from books), Kerala had included them in the syllabus as additional textbooks.”

“If NCERT intends to teach children through textbooks things that are unconstitutional, unscientific and distorting real history, then Kerala will defend itself by having debates academically,” he added.

On Wednesday, one of the 25 panels of the NCERT responsible for modifying or changing content in textbooks accepted a proposal to replace India with Bharat in books.

The next set of books by NCERT will have the name ‘Bharat’ instead of India and a proposal of the same has been unanimously accepted by a committee, IC Issac, the panel’s chairman had said.

Recommendations have been sent to NCERT, Delhi and a final decision on the matter is awaited. Shortly after media reports of the proposal were out, the NCERT said it was “too premature” to comment on it.

“Since the development of new syllabus and textbooks is in process and for that purpose, various Curricular Area Groups of domain experts are being notified by the NCERT, it is too premature to comment on the news,” the NCERT said in a statement.

The panel that has accepted the proposal for ‘Bharat’ in textbooks also recommended highlighting ‘Hindu victories’ and introducing ‘classical history’ instead of ‘ancient history’ in the textbooks.

Published On:

Oct 26, 2023

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