India Name Change As “Bharat” : In a recent interview with news agency ANI, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar responded to the growing controversy surrounding the government’s use of the term “Bharat” in official communications. The Opposition has been quick to criticize this move, alleging that it is an attempt to rebrand India.
However, Jaishankar’s remarks shed light on the constitutional significance of the word “Bharat” and its connection to India. In this article, we will delve into the details of this intriguing debate and explore the historical and constitutional context surrounding the use of “Bharat.”
The Genesis of the Controversy
The entire controversy began when Rashtrapati Bhawan sent out invitations for a G20 dinner on September 9, referring to the event as being on behalf of the ‘President of Bharat.’ This choice of wording sparked a debate, with many questioning the government’s intention behind emphasizing “Bharat” over “India.”
During the interview with ANI, Jaishankar addressed these concerns by pointing out that the term “India, that is Bharat” is explicitly mentioned in the Constitution of India. He urged everyone to read the Constitution to understand the connotation and significance attached to the word “Bharat.”
Jaishankar’s assertion about the presence of “Bharat” in the Constitution is indeed accurate. Article 1 of the Indian Constitution declares, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” This constitutional provision acknowledges the two names by which our nation is known – India.
The use of both “India” and “Bharat” in the Constitution highlights the multicultural and multilingual nature of our country. It respects the linguistic diversity and historical heritage that form the essence of India.
Opposition parties have accused the government of orchestrating a theatrical display by emphasizing “Bharat.” They argue that this move is a response to their collective decision to refer to themselves as “INDIA.” However, the government’s stance remains firm, with BJP leaders endorsing the use of “Bharat.”
India’s Global Role
The controversy over the use of the new name extends beyond domestic politics. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted India’s unique role on the global stage, particularly during its G20 presidency. He pointed out that India has made significant efforts to include developing countries that are not part of the G20 discussions.
India’s reputation as a constructive player that bridges divides and fixes global problems outside the G20 has been well-established. Jaishankar expressed confidence that the G20 nations coming to Delhi would understand their responsibility in shaping global directions.
Absence of Russian and Chinese Presidents
Regarding the absence of Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping from the G20 Summit in Delhi, Jaishankar clarified that many world leaders have chosen not to attend such events for various reasons. However, he emphasized that the representative of a country at the summit reflects that country’s position.
A Different Approach
Jaishankar also addressed the criticism of the government’s elaborate arrangements for the G20 Summit. He stated that this government believes in a different approach compared to past administrations. The G20 is seen as a national endeavor, involving all parts of India and transcending political boundaries.
The controversy surrounding the use of the new name in official communications is a reflection of the complex relationship between tradition and modernity, linguistic diversity, and political considerations in India. While the Opposition alleges a rebranding effort, the government emphasizes the constitutional validity and multicultural essence of “Bharat.”
In a rapidly evolving global landscape, India’s role as a responsible and inclusive player on the world stage is crucial. The G20 Summit in Delhi signifies India’s commitment to addressing global challenges and fostering cooperation among nations.
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Is the use of “Bharat” in official communications a recent development?
No, the use of “Bharat” alongside “India” has historical and constitutional roots dating back to the drafting of the Indian Constitution.
Why is there controversy surrounding the term “Bharat”?
The controversy arises from differing political perspectives, with the Opposition alleging a rebranding effort, while the government emphasizes its constitutional validity.
What is the significance of “Bharat” in the Indian Constitution?
Article 1 of the Constitution explicitly mentions “India, that is Bharat,” recognizing both names as valid for the nation.
How does India approach its role in the G20 Summit?
India takes a proactive and inclusive approach, reaching out to developing countries and seeking their input in global discussions.
Why have some world leaders chosen not to attend the G20 Summit in Delhi?
Leaders’ decisions to attend such events can vary for a multitude of reasons, but the representative at the summit reflects their country’s position and engagement.