Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 29 November 2023 11.16 PM IST

Centre with controversial move: Bharat instead of India


NEW DELHI: Rumors are rife that the central government has decided to abandon the name India, which the country has proudly cherished for so long, and adopt the ancient name Bharat. This is in the context of the release of the invitation letter of the President in the name of 'President of Bharat' and the foreign tour document of the Prime Minister in the name of 'Prime Minister of Bharat'. This strengthened the suspicion that the Parliament session was called for five days from the 18th of this month with this purpose in mind.

Although Article 1 of the Constitution mentions both names, the official name is India. The move is to amend this and change it to a single name of Bharat. The issue became controversial when the letters sent from the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the name of President Draupadi Murmu, inviting the heads of state to participate in the G-20 summit for a dinner on the 9th of this month, was marked as 'President of Bharat'. Following this, the name of the country was changed to Bharat in the official note of the Prime Minister's visit to Indonesia today and tomorrow.

The introduction of the briefing document to the delegates attending the G-20 summit also has the title 'Bharat, The Mother Of Democracy'. The name of the G-20 summit venue is Bharat Mandapam.

It is indicated that the BJP leadership has decided to implement the name change immediately with the name INDIA being given to the front formed by 26 opposition parties including the Congress. Sangh Parivar has been making this demand for a long time. It is also the declared policy of the Narendra Modi government to wipe out the vestiges of British imperial rule.

Constitutional amendment is essential

  1. Article 1 of the Constitution says “India, that is Bharat.' Internationally, only one name can be recognized.
  2. The name change will come into effect after the Article 1 Amendment Bill is passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and approved by the President.
  3. Wherever the old name is mentioned, the new name will be added and fresh copies of the constitution will have to be issued. The new name must be entered in all documents that require the name to be mentioned internationally, including passports.

The title 'President of India' cannot be changed by a letter. The title of 'President of Bharat' does not exist.'

-PDT Achary, constitutional expert

"The term India was coined by the British. The name Bharat should be brought back in speech and writing.'

- Mohan Bhagwat, RSS chief

"Didn't Congress name Rahul Gandhi's journey as 'Bharat Jodo'? Don't you chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'?'

-JP Nadda, BJP National President

"The letter with the title 'President of Bharat' is an insult to the states.''

- Jairam Ramesh, Congress leader

While there is no constitutional objection to calling India “Bharat”, which is one of the country’s two official names, I hope the government will not be so foolish as to completely dispense with “India”, which has incalculable brand value built up over centuries.

- Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP

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