The rumored plans to switch the official spelling of the nation’s English name from “India” to “Bharat” have sparked a significant political debate.
Amid rumors of a probable name change from ‘India’ to ‘Bharat,’ a top United Nations official said on Wednesday that the world body analyzes petitions from countries to change their names as they come in. Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, highlighted Turkey changing its name to Turkiye and the United Nations agreeing to the formal request, according to Press Trust of India.
“In the case of Turkiye, we responded to a formal request from the government.” “Obviously, if we get requests like that, we consider them as they come,” he said in answer to a question on PTI’s report that India’s name may be changed to Bharat.
A political row erupted on Tuesday after the invites for the G20 dinner called President Droupadi Murmu the ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the usual ‘President of India’, triggering speculation that the government may be about to change the country’s name.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged his cabinet colleagues to stay out of the political controversy around the word “Bharat” on Wednesday, emphasizing that it was the nation’s original name.
We, the people of India… is the first phrase in the preamble of the English version of the constitution, and “India, that is, Bharat, shall be a Union of States” is the second.
Except for the section identifying the names of the countries, the constitution replaces India with Bharat anywhere it appears in Hindi. This section reads, “Bharat, that is, India, shall be a Union of States.”
A constitutional amendment would be necessary to change India’s name to just Bharat, and both houses of parliament would need to approve it by a two-thirds majority.