Bharat : Will India change its name to Bharat? The G20 professional dispute has been clarified 

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Bharat : New Delhi , ept 6 (Reuters) – Invitations to a dinner on the sidelines of the G20 summit by Indian President Droupadi Murmu, who calls himself the “President of Bharat”, have sparked speculation that the government may  change the country’s name from India to Bharat. 

WHAT’S THE CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE NAME OF INDIA? 

By convention, invitations sent by  constitutional bodies of India always bear the name India in the English text and Bharat in  the Hindi text. 

However, the invitations — in English — to the G20 dinner invited Murmu to be the president of Bharat.  An official in the president’s office said they did not want to comment  when asked by Reuters. 

Given the Hindu nationalist ideology of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and its push to increase the use of Hindi, critics have reacted to the use of Bharat in invitations by suggesting that the government demand an official name change. 

Over the years, Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has changed the colonial names of cities, claiming to help India overcome its slavery mentality. 

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL NAME OF THE COUNTRY?  

Indian languages also refer to the South Asian giant as Bharat, Bharata, and Hindustan in addition to the English name India.The preamble of the English version of the Constitution begins with the words “We, the people of India…” and then the first part of the document  states “India or Bharat is  a Union of States”. 

In Hindi, the constitution replaces India with Bharat everywhere, except in the part defining the names of the country, which says in Hindi: “Bharat or India shall be a union of states.” 

Changing the name of India would require approval of an amendment  by a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament.

WILL THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALLY CHANGE THE NAME? 

For some, the timing of the dispute is suggestive.  The incident comes just days after the government announced a surprise five-day special session of parliament at the end of this month, without revealing the agenda. The move prompted unconfirmed reports that the name change  could be discussed and approved at the session.Although it hasn’t been verified, representatives of the government and the dominant BJP have argued that Bharat should take precedence over India.  

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of the BJP, has always demanded that the country be called Bharat.  

A government spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.  

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF BOTH  NAMES?  

Both names have been used for over two thousand years. While some proponents of the name Bharat claim that “India” was given by the British colonialists, historians argue that the name dates back to centuries of colonial rule. 

India originates from the  Indus, which was called Sindhu in Sanskrit. Travelers from as far away as Greece identified the region southeast of the Indus  as Indiana even before Alexander the Great’s Indian campaign in the 3rd century BC. 

The name Bharat is even older and appears in ancient Indian scriptures. But according to some experts, it was used as a  socio-cultural identity rather than a geographical term.

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