Parliament’s 5-day special session is scheduled to kick-off on September 18, and speculation is rife as to whether the government will announce a big decision at this session. After ‘Uttarakhand Congress’ and ‘one nation, one election’, speculation is rife that the government will officially change the name of the country from India to ‘Bharat’ through a constitutional amendment.
In Article 1 of the Indian Constitution, the country is referred to as ‘India’, which means ‘Union of States’ in Hindi. The Constituent Assembly decided on the name after much discussion between members who wanted the name to be India and others who wanted it to be ‘Bharat’.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly said that they are in favour of the name Bharat. In his Independence Day speech of 2022, the Prime Minister asked the citizens to pledge to eliminate the “trails of slavery”.
The name change from India to “Bharat” can serve as a symbol of acceptance of our national identity.
News is indeed true. Rumors of a name change have been circulating for some time now, and the speculation is backed up by two incidents. The first is the recent statement made by Assam chief minister Himanta Biswarma on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter). Sarma wrote, “THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA – we are proud to say that our civilisation is marching forward with courage to AMRITKAAL.”
The second is the fact that the President of Bharat, instead of the customary ‘President of India’, has been named as the President of India in the official dinner invitation to G20 delegations sent by Rashtrapati bhawan. A Congress leader reacted to the news of the name change and said, “It looks like it’s true. Article 1 of the Constitution states that Bharat will be the ‘Union of States’.”
What’s interesting about this shift is that it may come at the very moment when India’s 28-party Opposition, which is set to contest the next Lok Sabha election together, is rebranding itself as India NDA. This could trigger a new round of confrontation between the ruling government and the opposition.