Will India change its name? – level 3

11-09-2023 15:00

Indian President Droupadi Murmu’s invitations for a G20 summit dinner, where she referred to herself as the ‘President of Bharat’, have sparked speculation about a potential name change for India.

Traditionally, Indian constitutional invitations use the name India in English and Bharat in Hindi. However, these English invites deviated from the norm by using Bharat. This has led to suggestions that the government might be pushing for an official name change, aligning with the Hindu-nationalist ideology of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which promotes Hindi.

India is officially known as both India and Bharat in different languages, with the constitution referring to ‘India, that is Bharat’ in English. Changing India’s name to Bharat would require a constitutional amendment, potentially discussed during an upcoming special session of parliament.

While some argue that ‘India’ originated from British colonial rule, historians note that both names have ancient roots, with ‘Bharat’ having a cultural identity significance.

Difficult words: deviate (to change from the usual way), align (to give support to), amendment (a change made to the words of a text).

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What is the historical origin of both 'India' and 'Bharat', and how significant is the cultural identity associated with the term 'Bharat'?


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