India likely to be renamed as Bharat: reports
The government is ‘likely to move a resolution in the upcoming special session of parliament’
Prime minister Narendra Modi (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIA’S government is likely to bring a resolution to rename the country as “Bharat”, media reports have said.
President Draupadi Murmu’s invite to G20 heads of state for a dinner later this week came in the name of “President of Bharat” instead of the usual ‘President of India’.
This triggered speculations about renaming the country, which has long been a demand of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s senior functionaries and the outfit’s affiliates.
The government of prime minister Narendra Modi is likely to introduce a resolution for a change of name’ in the upcoming special session of parliament beginning on September 18, a CNBC TV18 report said on Tuesday (5).
While Modi has repeatedly called on Indians to come out of the ‘mentality of slavery’ – interpreted as a colonial mindset – the government is planning to remove the word “India” from the Constitution, News18 reported citing sources.
As the topic became a top trend on social media, opposition parties sought to know what prompted the government to change the name “suddenly”.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, a prominent figure of the opposition block INDIA (Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance), said, “What happened suddenly that they had to change the name of the country?… History is being rewritten in the country.”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor admitted Bharat and India are two official names of the country but warned the government against fully erasing the latter, saying such a move could be “foolish”.
“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”, he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“We should continue to use both words rather than relinquish our claim to a name redolent of history, a name that is recognised around the world,” the former minister said.
But BJP leader JP Nadda hit back at the Congress, asking why the party had “so much objection to every subject related to the honour and pride of the country?”
Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the nationalist outfit RSS – the BJP’s ideological fountainhead – had previously urged people to call the country ‘Bharat’ and not India.
India has changed the names of several places in the past few decades to bring back what many people call “Indianness”.
Bombay has been renamed as Mumbai, Bangalore as Bengaluru, Calcutta as Kolkata, Madras as Chennai and Banaras as Varanasi.