Political Storm: BJP Renames India as ‘Bharat’ Without Consensus
A political storm is brewing in India as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to officially rename the country Bharat. The opposition has accused the ruling party of one-upmanship as President Droupadi Murmu’s invite to G20 foreign leaders read “President of Bharat” instead of “President of India”.
The invite shows that the Narendra Modi-led government has gone ahead and renamed India before informing the masses. BJP leaders argue that the term “Bharat” is also in Article 1 of the Constitution which says “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”. The government’s surprise move comes after the India versus Bharat debate heated up after the opposition alliance adopted the acronym INDIA.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked whether the government would change the country’s name again if the opposition alliance rechristened itself “Bharat” from INDIA. “Why is this happening? It is being said that this is being done because we have formed an alliance named INDIA. The country belongs to 140 crore people and not to one party. If INDIA alliance rechristens itself Bharat, will they change the name of Bharat also?”
M.K. Stalin, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, said BJP promised to Transform India. “But all we got is a name change after 9 years. Seems like the BJP is rattled by a single term called India because they recognize the strength of unity within the opposition.”
Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister, believes this should have happened earlier. “This gives great satisfaction to the mind. Bharat is our introduction. We are proud of it. The President has given priority to Bharat. This is the biggest statement to come out of the colonial mindset.”
Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader and MP for Thiruvananthapuram, says 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. We should continue to use both words rather than relinquish our claim to a name redolent of history, a name that is recognized around the world.”
On the other hand, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says everyone should stop using the word India and start using Bharat. “At times we use India to make those who speak English understand. This comes as the flow. However, we must stop using this…The name of the country Bharat will remain Bharat wherever you go in the world. In spoken and written, one must say Bharat.”
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut also joined in the Bharat conversation. “From the time of Mahabharata, all the kingdoms who participated in the Great War of Kurukshetra came under one continent called Bharat, so why were they calling us Indu Sindu?” The National Award winning actress believes the name Bharat is meaningful. “What is the meaning of India? I know they called Red Indians that because in olden English Indian simply meant a slave, they named us Indians because that was our new identity given to us by the British.”