The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has recommended that the word ‘Bharat’ be used in place of ‘India’ in syllabus.
At present it is limited to the thinking and recommendations of a committee. Article 1 of the Constitution mentions ‘India, which is Bharat’.
That is, both the words are acceptable to our constitution-makers and they are considered mutually complementary.
Even after 76 years of independence, there is a section which considers these two words as contradictory. Considers ‘India’ as a colonial relic.
‘India’ has been explained by linking it to the Greek language, pronunciation, Alexander and the Indus Valley Civilization.
What have we to do with such ancient history, language and its influences? How long will we remain dependent on foreigners?
India is an independent, sovereign, democratic nation, with its own unanimous Constitution. We believe that all discussions should be held after 1947 only.
The process of converting ‘India’ into ‘Bharat’ cannot be implemented by any organization or council.
For that, a proposal to amend the Constitution will have to be passed in the Parliament. If NCERT wants to teach students the proper history of our freedom movement, then it should be compiled in separate volumes from 1857 to 1947 and written afresh.
This is a very extensive and tedious task and also requires sufficient time. In the context of this history-writing, the periods of British rule will also come automatically, hence ‘one sect, two causes’ can be said.
We believe that everything in the school curriculum should be in the abstract. The remaining and detailed studies can be done by students during higher education, as per their interest.
There is no justification in continuing to harp on the past like the ancient period, the ancient period, the Stone Age, the Mughal period.
These should be left to researchers in the context of different histories. The tender minds of school students should not be polluted.
There is nothing to be gained from reading such history except bitterness and hatred. The campaign of ‘India’ versus ‘Bharat’ is also meaningless.
Is this being done in view of nationalism, Hinduism, Hindivad or does it have any cultural significance?
Of course, our roots, our identity and our cultural heritage lie in ‘India’ only. ‘Bharatam’ is mentioned in Vishnu Purana, Brahmapurana and many ancient religious texts.
But our country has also been addressed by names like ‘Aryavarta’, ‘Hind’, ‘Hindustan’, ‘Bharatkhand’, ‘Himvarsh’ etc. No one has any objection.
Apart from ‘Bharat’, there are many mythological stories associated with ‘India’ also. Indumati was the wife of King Aja of Ayodhya and mother of Dasharatha. When King Ram sat on the throne of Ayodhya, the name of Grandmother Indumati was also prevalent during his period, which we today call ‘India’.
The name ‘Bharat’ was named after King Ram’s younger brother Bharat. Legend also has it that the name of the son of King Dushyant and Shakuntala was also ‘Bharat’. Sage Kanva had blessed him to become ‘Chakravarti Samrat’, hence on his basis we became ‘India’.
Bharat, the ‘Chakravarti’ son of Rishabhdev, the first Tirthankar of Jainism, was a world-conquering emperor, hence the country was named ‘Bharat’. However, both the terms are popular.