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India Contemplates Scrapping English Name for Bharat in Official Use

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India Considers Scrapping Official Use of English Name

India is considering abandoning its official use of the English name for the country, causing speculation and discussion among the public. The invitation issued by India to world leaders for the upcoming G-20 summit referred to the country as “Bharat,” sparking rumors about a potential name change.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government Takes Steps to Remove British Symbols

Under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, the Indian government has been actively removing symbols of British rule from the country’s urban landscape, political institutions, and history books. This potential name change could be the largest measure of its kind yet.

India’s Ancient Name “Bharat” Gains Popularity

Prime Minister Modi often refers to India as “Bharat,” a name derived from ancient Hindu scriptures written in Sanskrit. It is one of the country’s two official names according to the constitution. Members of Modi’s Hindu nationalist party have previously campaigned against the use of the Western-influenced name “India,” which was imposed during British colonial rule.

Rumors and Reactions Surrounding the Name Change

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The upcoming G-20 summit in India, where the invitation cards mention the “Chief of Bharat,” has intensified speculations about the name change. Although the government has not disclosed its legislative agenda, there are rumors that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs will table a special resolution to prioritize the name “Bharat.” This has led to mixed reactions from opposition lawmakers and enthusiastic support from various quarters.

Debate Over Preserving India’s Historical Name

Shashi Tharoor, a member of the opposition Congress party, expressed concerns about completely abandoning the name “India.” He believes that India should continue using both names as they hold historical significance and global recognition. On the other hand, former cricketer Virender Sehwag supports the idea of reclaiming the original name “Bharat” and even suggests using it on the cricket team’s uniforms.

Efforts to Erase British Colonial Era Traces

For decades, Indian governments have been renaming roads and cities to erase traces of the British colonial era. Under Prime Minister Modi, this process has intensified, with a focus on abandoning the “colonial mentality.” The government has renovated the Parliamentary District in New Delhi, originally designed by the British, and has outlined plans to remove references to the British monarchy in Indian criminal law.

India’s Name Change Following Turkey’s Example

If India proceeds with the name change, it will be the second country to officially change its name recently. Turkey changed its name from “Turkey” to “Ankara” in June of last year. The change was immediately recognized by the United Nations, following a request made by Turkey’s president.

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