Is India being renamed as ‘Bharat’?

An Indian national flag flutters on top of the Indian parliament building in New Delhi December 1, 2010. — Reuters
An Indian national flag flutters on top of the Indian parliament building in New Delhi December 1, 2010. — Reuters

The Narendra Modi-led government is considering renaming India as “Bharat” and a resolution in this regard is likely to be tabled in the country’s parliament soon, according to Indian media reports.

The proposal to rename India as “Bharat” may be tabled by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government during the special session of the parliament, scheduled from September 18-22, according to India Today.

The reports regarding renaming came to the fore after India’s invite to foreign leaders attending the G20 summit revealed that for the first time in the country’s history the term “President of Bharat” was used in place of “President of India”.

President Droupadi Murmu’s invite to G20 foreign leaders and chief ministers for a dinner on September 9, says: “President of Bharat” instead of “President of India,” NDTV reported.

The term “Bharat” is also in the Indian Constitution, NDTV quoted officials as saying.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was among the first to hail the government’s move.

“REPUBLIC OF BHARAT – happy and proud that our civilisation is marching ahead boldly towards AMRIT KAAL,” he posted on X, formerly Twitter.

While the BJP leaders welcomed the move, the presidential invite drew a sharp response from the opposition, which linked it to the name of their front to take on the BJP in 2024 – INDIA or Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance.

RJD leader Manoj Jha said: “…It has just been a few weeks since we named our alliance as INDIA and BJP has started sending invitations with ‘Republic of Bharat’ instead of ‘Republic of India’. Article 1 of the Constitution reads ‘India that is Bharat’. Neither you will be able to take India from us nor Bharat.”

“Will BJP replace ‘Bharat’ with something else, if INDIA alliance changes its name to Bharat?” questioned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Under the Modi regime, in the past few years, the Indian authorities have changed the names of several cities and places named after Muslim leaders. inviting ire of the minorities in the country.

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