The BJP has constantly opposed the nascent opposition alliance, INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance), alleging that the term ‘India’ harkens back to colonial times. A fresh issue has now developed between the NDA and the INDIA Bloc when invitations to a G20 summit banquet hosted at Rashtrapati Bhawan bore the inscription ‘President of Bharat’ instead of ‘President of India’.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh has charged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), led by Mohan Bhagwat, seeks to modify the country’s Constitution by ‘eliminating’ the phrase ‘India’ in favor of ‘Bharat’. “Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar said in the Constitution—’India That Is Bharat’. However, Modi and RSS, who are not in favor of Babasaheb, desire to amend the Constitution. Why do Bhagwat and Modi have such tremendous antipathy to Babasaheb?” Sanjay Singh questioned in his post on ‘X’.
Reacting to the name change, RJD MP Manoj Jha commented, “…It has only been a few weeks since we christened our coalition INDIA, and the BJP has already begun issuing invitations with ‘Republic of Bharat’ instead of ‘Republic of India’. Article 1 of the Constitution declares ‘India that is Bharat’. You cannot take India away from us, nor can you take Bharat…”
In a critical response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh observed, “Mr. Modi may continue to twist history and attempt to divide India, that is Bharat, a Union of States. However, we will not be swayed. What is the objective of INDIA parties? It is BHARAT—Bring Harmony, Amity, Reconciliation And Trust. BHARAT shall prevail! INDIA shall triumph!”
Addressing Jairam Ramesh’s statements, BJP National General Secretary Tarun Chugh questioned, “Why is there a difficulty with stating or writing ‘Bharat’? Jairam Ramesh, why do you feel ashamed? Our nation has been known as Bharat from ancient times, and it is even enshrined in our Constitution. They are aiming to foment unnecessary division.”
Speaking to ANI, Congress MP Pramod Tiwari slammed the Modi government, saying, “How can India be removed? PM Modi introduced initiatives like ‘Make in India,’ ‘Skill India,’ ‘Khelo India’… They (BJP) fear the name ‘India,’ however Article 1 of the Constitution reads ‘India, that is Bharat’… How can this name (India) be erased…?
Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, reiterated that the country’s name is ‘Bharat’ and will remain so. He stated, “They find fault with everything, and I don’t want to comment on it. I am a ‘Bharatwaasi’ (citizen of Bharat); my country’s name is ‘Bharat,’ and it will always be ‘Bharat.’ If Congress has an issue with this, they should fix it themselves.”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor joined in, stating, “While there is no constitutional impediment to referring to India as ‘Bharat,’ one of the country’s two official names, I hope the administration would not forsake ‘India,’ a name of tremendous historical and global significance, developed over centuries. We should continue to embrace both terms rather than abandon our claim to a name rooted in history and known internationally.”
Earlier this month, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma declared his support for ‘REPUBLIC OF BHARAT,’ honoring the brave stride of our civilisation towards ‘AMRIT KAAL.’
Notably, Mohan Bhagwat had campaigned for using the word “Bharat” instead of India, pushing people to embrace this practice. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Bansal also approved this notion during the just finished monsoon session in the Upper House, claiming that the name ‘India’ symbolizes “colonial slavery” and “should be removed from the Constitution.”
“The British transformed Bharat’s name to India. Under Article 1, the Constitution declares: ‘India, that is Bharat.’ Our country has been referred to as ‘Bharat’ for millennia… it is our ancient name, documented in ancient Sanskrit literature. The word ‘India’ was conferred by the colonial Raj and denotes servitude. The name India should be deleted from the Constitution,” claimed the Rajya Sabha MP.