The Prime Minister Narendra Modi administration has under criticism for referring to India as “Bharat” in invitations to a dinner party for the upcoming G-20 Summit in New Delhi. The phrase is used to refer to India in Hindi, and detractors claim that its use is the newest example of a nationalist movement in the midst of a successful year for the nation.

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President invitation

Bharat now has the largest population and the fastest-growing major economy in the world. In addition to hosting the G-20 Summit this year, which takes place from September 9 to 10, the nation just finished a historic moon landing.

The invitations referred to Droupadi Murmu, as the “President of Bharat.” The announcement of the invitations came two days after Mohan Bhagwat, the leader of the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and a key figure in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideology, suggested in a speech that the nation should refer to itself as Bharat rather than India.

“We occasionally use India so that English speakers may understand. But this must not be used anymore. No matter where you are in the world, the name of the nation will always be Bharat, according to Bhagwat.

Many BJP leaders have applauded this strategy. However, the BBC noted that there has been no proof that the administration is considering a formal name change.

As we’ve seen, Modi and the BJP wish to put the legacy of colonialism in the past. As a result, there has been a tendency of renaming streets with names that have colonial associations. Evidently, the BJP wants to refer to India using the phrase that Michael Kugelman, the head of the South Asia Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., believes is more suitable.

The focus on rebranding to the name Bharat may also be somewhat driven by the alliance of opposition parties naming themselves “I.N.D.I.A” two months ago ahead of the Indian general election in the spring of 2024, according to historian of contemporary India Ravinder Kaur.

The ruling party is attempting to fight in part by coming up with an alternative moniker. But what’s fascinating is that the constitution already recognizes The Country’s dual name,” Kaur argues.

The first sentence of Article 1 of the Indian Constitution reads, “India, That is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.

Name India Taking From

The Sanskrit term for the Indus River, sindhu, was Anglicized to become the name India, which was first used from 1858 to 1947, when the Crown ruled There. Ancient Hindu sacred scriptures known as the Puranas are where the term Bharat, which is also Sanskrit, comes from. The writings speak of a vast landmass where people reside, and Bharatavarsa is the name of one of its regions.

Hindustan, which translates to “land of the Indus” in Persian, is another well-known moniker for the nation. During the Mughal era, it became a common term to refer to the nation, and Hindu nationalists commonly use it today. However, the constitution does not formally recognize it as Bharat’s legal name.

Following the images of the dinner party invitation going viral on X, formerly known as Twitter, there has been some heated discussion on social media over the best name to use.

However, several people applauded the possible shift as being anti-imperialist and true to the country’s past.

“I’ve always thought that a name should make us feel proud of ourselves. Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag stated in a post, “We are Bhartiyas, India is a name the British gave us, and it has been long overdue to regain our original name ‘Bharat’ back legally.

In the past, petitions to rename the Country as Bharat were submitted with the Supreme Court of India. However, judges have so far refrained from becoming involved in the dispute.


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