The ongoing Bharat vs. India debate took center stage once again as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the G20 Summit with a nameplate reading “Bharat” in front of him. This decision, coupled with President Draupadi Murmu’s use of “Bharat” in the invitation sent to world leaders, has ignited a significant political controversy.
The controversy has now fueled speculation that a special session of Parliament scheduled later this month aims to formalize the transition from “India” to “Bharat” as the official name of the country.
The term “Bharat” has also found its way into a G20 booklet intended for foreign delegates, titled “Bharat, The Mother Of Democracy.” The booklet argues that “Bharat” is the official name of the country, citing its mention in the Constitution and historical discussions from 1946-48.
In response to these developments, the Opposition has launched a fierce attack on the government, accusing the Narendra Modi-led administration of “distorting history” and “dividing India.” Members of the INDIA bloc have been particularly vocal in their criticism, expressing concerns about the potential implications of such a name change.
In a sharp counter-argument, leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have accused the Opposition of being “anti-national” and “anti-constitutional.” They pointed to Article 1 of the Constitution, which explicitly mentions India as “Bharat.”
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan defended the decision to use “Bharat” during the G20 Summit, stating that it was a significant statement against the colonial mindset. He added, “This should have happened earlier. It gives me great satisfaction. ‘Bharat’ is our introduction, and we are proud of it.”
The debate surrounding the use of “Bharat” in place of “India” continues to be a divisive issue, with political parties and leaders on both sides of the spectrum vehemently expressing their opinions. It remains to be seen how this debate will unfold and whether it will have a lasting impact on the nation’s identity.
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