India may be renamed as ‘Bharat’ soon, Know the history of India and Why name is being changed

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The government may introduce a resolution to rename India as Bharat during the upcoming special session of Parliament from September 18-22. Currently, the Constitution refers to the country as “India, that is Bharat…”, but there’s a growing call to amend it to simply “Bharat.”

Prominent figures like RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed support for this change. Bhagwat emphasized that the country has been known as Bharat for centuries, and PM Modi made a symbolic gesture towards embracing the indigenous identity on August 15, 2022. It is expected to instill nationalism in citizens and end the connection with colonial rule.

During the recent monsoon session of Parliament, BJP MPs Naresh Bansal and Harnath Singh Yadav demanded the removal of ‘India’ from the Constitution, suggesting it symbolizes colonial slavery. With the special session starting on September 18, there’s speculation that a constitutional amendment bill might be introduced.

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Meanwhile, an official dinner invite to G20 delegates from the Rashtrapati Bhawan surfaced on Tuesday. The invite had ‘President of Bharat’ written on it instead of the usual ‘President of India’.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh was among the first ones to point this out. Ramesh said, “So the news is indeed true. Rashtrapati Bhawan sent out an invite for a G20 dinner on Sept 9th in the name of ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the usual ‘President of India’. Now, Article 1 in the Constitution can read: “Bharat, that was India, shall be a Union of States.” But now even this “Union of States” is under assault.”

The invites referred to the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, as “President of Bharat.” News of the invites comes two days after Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the Hindu nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, an ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said in a speech that the country should use the word Bharat instead of India.

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Background of name

The name India is an Anglicization of the Sanskrit word for the Indus river, sindhu, and was introduced during the Crown’s rule over India from 1858 to 1947. The BJP has frequently pushed to erase examples of what it considers examples of British colonial rule.

The name Bharat, also Sanskrit, originates from ancient Hindu religious texts, the Puranas. The texts describe a large land mass on which humans live on, and one region of this landmass is referred to as Bharatavarsa.

Another popular name for the country is Hindustan, which means “land of the Indus” in Persian. It became a popular way to refer to the country during the Mughal era and is frequently invoked by Hindu nationalists. However, it is not officially recognized as the legal name for India in the constitution. 

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Court Cases

Previously, court cases have been filed at India’s Supreme Court to change the country’s name to Bharat. But judges have so far declined to wade into the controversy.

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