Government Prioritizes ‘Bharat’ in Official Language
This seems to be the government’s stand on the latest political controversy – giving precedence to the word ‘Bharat’ in official parlance while not discarding ‘India.’ This shift may also serve as a political counter to the opposition’s use of the acronym I.N.D.I.A.
The matter came to light after official invites from the President for the G20 Leaders’ Summit dinner referred to Droupadi Murmu as the ‘President of Bharat.’ Similarly, the function notes of the Prime Minister’s trip to Indonesia mentioned Narendra Modi as the ‘Prime Minister of Bharat.’ Even during Modi’s recent trip to South Africa, protocol documents referred to him as the ‘Prime Minister of Bharat.’
An official G20 booklet for foreign delegates is also titled ‘Bharat, the Mother of Democracy.’
Speculation and Opposition Response
The opposition has since speculated that the government intends to bring a resolution or bill in Parliament to replace ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ as the official name of the country. However, the government has not confirmed any such development.
Government sources have stated that ‘India’ and ‘Bharat’ have always been used interchangeably to refer to the country. According to Article 1 of the Constitution, the country is mentioned as “India, that is, Bharat.” Changing this would require a constitutional amendment.
“So far, ‘India’ had precedence in usage, but the view now is that ‘Bharat’ should take precedence. Even the G20 official logo since last year mentions ‘Bharat’ ahead of ‘India.’ This will continue in the future, and it is perfectly legal under the Constitution,” a senior government official told Smartkhabrinews.
The government highlights that several prominent government schemes, such as Ayushman Bharat and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, feature ‘Bharat’ in their names, emphasizing its significance.
Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi, during a CNN-Smartkhabrinews’s Townhall event, stated, “‘India’ and ‘Bharat’ are interchangeable words. While traditionally we called ourselves ‘Bharat,’ ‘India’ is also a term used globally. But those who claim to represent India should not misuse the country’s name for their political coalition, UPA-3.”
By giving precedence to the use of ‘Bharat’ in official language, the government and the BJP aim to counter the opposition alliance’s adoption of the term I.N.D.I.A.