The G20 Summit’s opening ceremony became the center of attention as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nameplate prominently displayed “Bharat” instead of “India.” This symbolic gesture, coupled with the controversy surrounding President Droupadi Murmu’s invitation to world leaders using “Bharat,” has triggered a significant political debate in the country.
The decision to replace “India” with “Bharat” on the official communication sent to global leaders has raised eyebrows and led to speculation about a potential formal push to rename the nation. The timing of this development has also fueled rumors that a special session of Parliament later this month may be convened to address this renaming effort.
The usage of “Bharat” extends beyond official invitations. A G20 booklet designed for foreign delegates has been titled “Bharat, The Mother Of Democracy.” The booklet emphasizes that “Bharat” is the official name of the country, citing its mention in the Constitution and discussions dating back to 1946-48.
Unsurprisingly, this move has not escaped political polarization. The opposition, including members of the INDIA bloc, has launched a fierce critique against the government, accusing it of “distorting history and dividing India.” They view this as an attempt to rewrite the country’s identity.
In response, BJP leaders have countered these accusations by emphasizing Article 1 of the Constitution, which recognizes “Bharat” as the official name of the nation. They label the opposition’s stance as anti-national and anti-constitutional.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan expressed his support for the change, calling it a significant statement against the colonial mindset. He stated, “This should have happened earlier. It gives me great satisfaction. ‘Bharat’ is our introduction, and we are proud of it.”
The debate over using “Bharat” instead of “India” reflects the deep-rooted historical and cultural sentiments in the country. It remains to be seen how this controversy will evolve and whether it will result in any official renaming or amendment. The upcoming special session of Parliament is expected to shed more light on this matter, as India grapples with questions about its identity and nomenclature on the international stage.
Sources By Agencies