Controversy Surrounds India’s Name Change to Bharat: Political Reactions and Implications

Amid controversy over more than two dozen opposition parties forming an alliance called ‘INDIA’, the central government has reportedly begun mentioning the country’s name as ‘Bharat’ in official documents.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that Rashtrapati Bhawan has sent out an invite for a G20 dinner on September 9 in the name of ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the usual ‘President of India’. So the news is indeed true.

Ramesh’s reaction came amid sources in the government claiming that the Centre is likely to bring a fresh resolution during the Special Session of Parliament to rename India as Bharat.

Political Divide Over the Name Change

Reacting to Congress’ objection, BJP’s national president JP Nadda asked why does the grand old party object to every work done for the honour and glory of this country.

“Why do doing political tours in the name of Bharat Jodo hate the slogan of Bharat Mata Ki Jai? It is clear that Congress neither respects the country, nor the Constitution, nor the constitutional institutions. It only aims to praise one family (Gandhis). The entire country knows very well the anti-national and anti-constitutional intentions of Congress,” Nadda said.

A few minutes later, Jairam Ramesh further hit out at the prime minister and said that he can continue to distort history and “divide India, that is Bharat, that is a Union of States. But we will not be deterred”.

Tarun Chug, BJP national general secretary said, “Why such a fuss over writing and speaking ‘Bharat’? Why are Congress leaders so assumed of calling themselves ‘Bharatiya’? Sometimes you create a ruckus over ‘Vande Mataram, other times you have issues with ‘Rashtravad’.”

Support for the Name Change

RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy told Smartkhabrinews that the name ‘Bharat’ is almost 2,000 years old. “It appears in the earlier literature of the country. It’s (renaming India to Bharat) is the right thing to do, and I welcome the move.”

Government releases #G20 booklet ‘Bharat: The Mother of Democracy’ ahead of the #G20Summit2023 @AmanKayamHai_ shares all the details.

Opposition’s Response

Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party, Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chaddha said our national identity is “not the BJP’s personal property that it can modify on whims and fancies”.

Congress’ Karti Chidambaram asked if “we’ll need new passports from now?”

When Smartkhabrinews contacted TMC for their reaction, the Mamata Banerjee-led party refused to comment. Manoj Jha, RJD’s Rajya Sabha MP, said, “We didn’t know that BJP is such a weak party. They got tensed so soon? Only a few weeks ago the Opposition had formed the INDIA alliance. And you’ve already started with your game?”

The INDIA Alliance

More than two dozen Indian opposition parties had formed an alliance called ‘INDIA’ in July to challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in parliamentary elections next year. The alliance said in a statement that the BJP was assaulting the character of the republic and they pledged to “safeguard the idea of India as enshrined in the Constitution”.

Mallikarjun Kharge, president of Congress party, said INDIA stood for “Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance”. “The main aim is to stand together to safeguard democracy and the constitution,” Kharge told reporters at the end of a two-day meeting of 26 opposition parties in Bengaluru.

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