Rashtrapati Bhavan addressed as "President of Bharat" - Is India changing its name?

Rashtrapati Bhavan

With invitations to dinner at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on September 9 on the occasion of the G20 summit referring to the President as “President of Bharat”, the Opposition on Tuesday alleged that the Union of States was under assault.

“So the news is indeed true. Rashtrapati Bhawan has sent out an invite for a G20 dinner on Sept 9th in the name of ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the usual ‘President of India’,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X. “Now, Article 1 in the Constitution can read: “Bharat, that was India, shall be a Union of States. But now even this ‘Union of States’ is under assault.”

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, ”Our country is of 140 crore people. What if INDIA alliance changes its name to ‘Bharat’ alliance, will they (BJP) change the name ‘Bharat’?”

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha whose party is one of the constituents of the Opposition INDIA alliance told news agency ANI, “It has just been a few weeks since we named our alliance as INDIA and BJP has started sending invitations with ‘Republic of Bharat’ instead of ‘Republic of India’. Article 1 of the Constitution reads ‘India that is Bharat’. Neither you will be able to take India from us nor Bharat …”

Meanwhile, BJP leaders questioned the Opposition’s alleged discomfort with the word “Bharat”. BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh told ANI, “Why is there an issue with saying or writing Bharat? Why are you feeling ashamed, Jairam Ramesh? Our nation has been called Bharat since ancient times and it is even mentioned in our Constitution. They are trying to create misunderstandings for no reason.”

Chugh told PTI, “The word ‘Bharat’ is not new, it has been in the DNA of all Indians since the yore.”

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma posted on X, “REPUBLIC OF BHARAT – happy and proud that our civilisation is marching ahead boldly towards AMRIT KAAL.”

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar questioned what was wrong with using Bharat, a word that appears in Article 1 of the Constitution. “Our country is ‘Bharat’, there should be no doubt about this. Congress has a problem with everything,” PTI quoted him as saying.

TIPRA Motha leader Pradyot Debbarma wrote on X, “How can anyone oppose the name ‘Bharat’ From school we were taught that India is Bharat and Bharat is India . And some of my former colleagues who participated in Bharat Jodo Yatra today cannot say that they will oppose the name Bharat. Please don’t indulge in negative politics it will harm you in the future. All decisions cannot be opposed for the sake of opposition.”

After the now 28-party Opposition alliance adopted the name INDIA (Indian National Inclusive Alliance) in July, Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted, “Our civilisational conflict is pivoted around India and Bharat. The British named our country as India. We must strive to free ourselves from colonial legacies. Our forefathers fought for Bharat, and we will continue to work for Bharat. BJP for BHARAT.”

The following day, the alliance worked on finalising a tagline that would have the word “Bharat” and settled on “Judega Bharat, Jeetega INDIA (Bharat will unite, India will win)”.

Meanwhile, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee questioned what suddenly prompted the Centre to “change the name of the country”. “Today, they (Centre) changed the name of India. In the invitation card for the G20 Summit dinner, it is mentioned ‘Bharat’…In English, we say ‘India’ and the ‘Indian Constitution’ and in Hindi, we say ‘Bharat ka Samvidhan’. We all say ‘Bharat’, what is new in this? But the name ‘India’ is known to the world…What happened suddenly that they had to change the name of the country?” she said.

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