India to Bharat: Decoding the Political and Historical Implications of a Name Change

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India to Bharat: Decoding the Political and Historical Implications of a Name Change2

India's Name Change: A Dive into the Shift to 'Bharat'

The Indian government, under helm of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has stirred the pot recently with a significant move. It's caught the attention of international community. In a recent dinner invitation for the Group of 20 summit, the government opted for Sanskrit word 'Bharat' over 'India'. This isn't just a drop in ocean; it carries profound historical, cultural, and political weight.

Historical Context of 'Bharat'

'Bharat', isn't it ancient term? Rooted in Sanskrit, many historians believe it finds its origins in early Hindu scriptures. In today's parlance, this word translates to 'India' in Hindi. The country always juggled between two names, 'India' and 'Bharat'. However, scales often tipped in favor of 'India', both on home turf and global stage.

Political Implications of the Change

Choosing 'Bharat' over 'India' in official communications, especially in global setting like G20 summit, is like showing one's true colors. It mirrors Hindu nationalist leanings of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The party's stalwarts argue that 'India' is vestige of British colonial era, symbolizing country's past subjugation. They view it as "symbol of slavery," a hangover from time British had their fingers in pie, ruling India for about two centuries until 1947.

This isn't BJP's first rodeo in renaming places with colonial or Mughal echoes. Remember 2015? New Delhi's famed Aurangzeb Road, named after Mughal emperor, underwent a makeover to become Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road. Such changes, aren't they steps towards embracing India's Hindu legacy?

Reactions to the Name Change

The move set cat among pigeons, evoking mixed reactions. Pushkar Singh Dhami, top gun of Uttarakhand state and BJP leader, hailed decision, dubbing it as "another blow to slavery mentality." He didn't beat around bush and shared G20 dinner invitation on his social media to underline change.

But every coin has two sides. The opposition raised eyebrows. Shashi Tharoor, a luminary from opposition Congress party, opined that while there's no constitutional roadblock to using 'Bharat', should government throw baby out with bathwater and sideline 'India'? He underscored global recognition and historical gravitas attached to 'India'.

The Road Ahead

The 'India' versus 'Bharat' tussle gained steam, especially with birth of new opposition alliance named INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance). Since its dawn, some BJP officials been singing from rooftops about their preference for 'Bharat' over 'India'.

India to Bharat: Decoding the Political and Historical Implications of a Name Change


Why sudden shift from 'India' to 'Bharat' in G20 summit invitations?

Winds of change reflect BJP's drive to spotlight India's Hindu heritage and distance from perceived colonial shackles. The term 'India', for some, is bitter pill, symbolizing country's past under British dominion.

What's backstory of name 'Bharat'?

'Bharat' is relic, ancient Sanskrit term believed to be etched in early Hindu texts. Today, it stands synonymous with 'India' in Hindi and always been one of country's official monikers.

What's word on street regarding this change?

Decision split crowd. While some see it as stride towards reclaiming India's Hindu roots, naysayers, like opposition bigwig Shashi Tharoor, stress global clout and historical allure of 'India'.

Is this BJP's first tryst with name changes?

No, BJP previously played name game, renaming places with colonial or Mughal undertones. Case in point: 2015 renaming of Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road.


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