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The India vs. Bharat Debate: Identity, History, and Politics

Exploring the Controversy Surrounding India's Official Name Change

India is a country with many names. Some of them are India, Bharat, Hindustan, and Bharatvarsha. But which one is the official name of the country? And why does Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government prefer to use Bharat instead of India?

According to the constitution of India, the country can be called India or Bharat. However, most people and the world use the name India. This name comes from the Greek word Indos, which means the Indus River. The Indus River was also called Sindhu in Sanskrit, which became Hindu in Persian and Hindi in Urdu.

Bharat is an ancient Sanskrit name that appears in Hindu scriptures. It refers to a legendary king named Bharata, who united many kingdoms under his rule. It also refers to a region called Bharatavarsa, which was larger than modern India and included parts of Southeast Asia.
Modi’s government and his Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, want to change the name of India to Bharat. They claim that the name India symbolizes colonial slavery, as it was given by the British, who ruled India for about 200 years.

They also claim that the name Bharat reflects India’s ancient culture, heritage, unity, and diversity.

But only some agree with this change. Many people oppose it. They argue that the name India is not a sign of slavery but pride and identity. They point out that India has achieved many things under this name, such as independence, democracy, development, and international recognition. They also argue that Bharat only represents some of India’s religions, languages, and communities.

The controversy over the name of India has become more heated since July this year when the opposition parties formed a new alliance called INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance). The alliance aims to challenge Modi’s government in the next elections. Modi’s government has reacted by using Bharat more often in official documents and events.

For instance, in September this year, Modi’s government replaced India with Bharat in dinner invitations for the Group of 20 summit. The president of India was referred to as the president of Bharat. The BJP leaders praised this move as a blow to the slavery mentality. The opposition leaders criticized this move as a sign of fear and desperation.

The debate over the name of India is not new. It has been going on for decades. Many petitions have been filed in courts to change the name to Bharat. But they have yet to succeed so far. The courts have said that both names are valid and acceptable.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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