“India vs Bharat”: Oppn leaders rail against Centre over NCERT panel recommendation

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): The recommendation by an NCERT panel to replace ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in school textbooks on Wednesday raised the hackles in the Opposition, with several leaders cutting across parties coming out in opposition against the move.
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’.”
“They (BJP) keep criticising the INDIA (grand Opposition) alliance. If you have to criticise us, do so on issues that we raise and the statements that we make, but don’t play cheap politics over the country’s name,” she added.
West Bengal Education Minister and ruling Trinamool Congress leader, Bratya Basu, also came down heavily against the Centre over the recommendation by the NCERT panel, saying, “This is a ridiculous recommendation. It’s clear that the BJP-ruled central government is scared of the word INDIA. It’s a bizarre decision. The move sets a wrong precedent and it appears that they are afraid of INDIA and (TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee.”
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar also hit out at the Centre over the recommendation by the NCERT panel, saying, “Why are still saying the Reserve Bank of India, Indian Administrative Service and Indian Foreign Service? Our passports still have the words ‘Republic of India’ inscribed on them. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with this government. Why are they needlessly confounding the citizens? Their stand or position in this matter is anti-people, anti-India, and anti-Bharat. It is clear that the NCERT panel was strong-armed into doing this by the NDA government. This is completely wrong…you can’t change the country’s history. The Karnataka government will not make any such changes to textbooks.”
The words ‘President of Bharat’ in an official invite from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the G20 member leaders and delegates for a ceremonial dinner earlier had strirred off a bitter political slugfest and set off speculations that the Centre was considering a bringing a motion in Parliament to rename ‘India’ as ‘Bharat’.

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