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India Or Bharat Speculation - Will It Change Its Name?


There's a topic about India or Bharat speculation. People are wondering whether India would change its name to Bharat or keep its current name.

A dinner invitation has rarely sparked such a buzz. In the bustling streets of India's capital, a storm of speculation erupted, fueled by a state-issued invite to a dinner reception for world leaders during the upcoming G20 summit.

The invitation referred to the country's head as the "President of Bharat" — the Hindi or Sanskrit version of the word "India."

This seemingly innocuous linguistic choice sent ripples through Indian society, reflecting a deeper struggle with identity and history.

A Tale Of Two Names

For months leading up to the G20 summit, India welcomed visitors to its capital with a vibrant logo that acknowledged the country's dual identity — "Bharat" in Hindi or Sanskrit, and "India" in English.

Both names are enshrined in India's constitution, where "India" is designated for English statements, and "Bharat" for Hindi. Additionally, "Hindustan" is another moniker that has been advocated by right-wing Hindu groups as the official name.

It's worth noting that these names predate the colonial era, with "India" having historical ties to the Indus Valley in the northwest part of the country.

A Nationalist Shift

Since assuming office in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government has actively pursued a mission to replace colonial-era names across streets and venues.

A woman stands in front of a G20 summit in New Delhi poster
A woman stands in front of a G20 summit in New Delhi poster

The rationale behind this effort is to break free from the remnants of a colonial past and instill a sense of pride and national identity among the populace.

Supporters of the name change argue that the essence remains the same, whether it's "Bharat," "Hindustan," or "India."

They emphasize the importance of using their native language to refer to their homeland, seeing it as a source of pride and a move away from a colonial mindset.

Akash Tiwari, a private security officer in New Delhi, told NBC Newsof the rumored change:

Better late than never. It used to be Bharat before. The change is good.- Akash Tiwari

Amit Gihar, a fashion photographer said:

The meaning is the same, be it Bharat, Hindustan or India. Now we get to use it in our own language. We feel pride in saying it.- Amit Gihar

Lost In Translation - The English Dilemma

While the debate over "Bharat" versus "India" unfolds, an intriguing question emerges: What should a person from India be called in English? In Hindi, citizens are often referred to as "Bharati" or "Bharatiyan," but in the English language, there's a lack of consensus.

Priorities And Politics

Amidst the discussions, some voices express bewilderment regarding the government's priorities. Critics argue that the nation's focus should be on addressing pressing issues such as poverty and infrastructure rather than a name change.

They view it as a diversion from critical matters affecting the country's citizens.

Furthermore, opponents suggest that the move to replace "India" with "Bharat" is part of a larger agenda to promote Hindi as the national language, a move that has sparked controversy in a nation with a rich linguistic tapestry.

Despite Hindi being spoken by a significant portion of the population, it is not designated as the national language in the Indian Constitution, which recognizes 22 languages.

A Political Landscape

In a political landscape marked by polarization, opposition parties have united under the banner of "INDIA," which they claim stands for the "Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance."

Their objective is to challenge the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming elections.

Amidst the ongoing debate, Shashi Tharoor, a prominent figure in the opposition Congress party, took to social media to share his views. He expressed hope that the government would not dispense entirely with "India," a name with significant brand value cultivated over centuries.

In a satirical twist, he suggested that the opposition alliance might adopt "BHARAT" as an acronym, signifying "Betterment, Harmony And Responsible Advancement for Tomorrow."

While such a change may carry symbolic significance and historical resonance, the prospect of renaming the nation without seeking the opinion of its people raises a host of complex issues and potential consequences.

A man holds a Bharat flag in public
A man holds a Bharat flag in public

The Constitutional Framework

India's constitution recognizes both "India" and "Bharat" as official names. "India" is used for English statements, while "Bharat" is designated for Hindi. This constitutional duality reflects the nation's linguistic and cultural diversity.

Renaming the country without public consent would challenge the very foundation of this constitutional framework, potentially leading to legal and political disputes.

Linguistic And Regional Diversity

India boasts a multitude of languages, each with its own unique identity. While "Bharat" may resonate with Hindi-speaking regions, it may not hold the same cultural significance for the country's diverse linguistic communities.

A unilateral decision to change the name could alienate linguistic and regional minorities, raising concerns of cultural hegemony.

Political Motivations And Nationalism

The push to rename India to "Bharat" is often associated with nationalist sentiments. Proponents argue that such a change would foster a sense of pride and national identity.

However, the political motivations behind this move have raised suspicions of using the name change as a tool for advancing particular political agendas. Critics view it as an attempt to reinforce a dominant cultural narrative.

International Perception And Relations

India is a global player with a significant presence on the international stage. A name change to "Bharat" could potentially create confusion and complicate diplomatic relations.

The international community is accustomed to referring to the nation as "India," and altering this could lead to logistical challenges in various international forums and treaties.

Economic Impact

A change in the country's name would necessitate substantial alterations in official documents, currency, and legal frameworks.

The economic cost of such a transition, including the reprinting of currency, replacement of signage, and updating of legal documents, could be substantial. In a nation with pressing economic challenges, this expenditure might raise questions about resource allocation.

Public Opinion And Democracy

One of the most significant concerns surrounding a unilateral name change is the disregard for public opinion in a democratic society.

The decision to alter a nation's identity should ideally involve a comprehensive public discourse and a democratic process, allowing citizens to voice their views and concerns. Failing to seek public input may be perceived as an affront to the principles of democracy.

Potential Social Unrest

If a name change to "Bharat" is imposed without public consent, it could lead to social unrest and protests. Dissatisfaction with the decision may manifest in various forms, including demonstrations, strikes, and civil disobedience.

Managing such unrest could pose significant challenges for the government.

Ethnic And Regional Tensions

In a country as diverse as India, changes in nomenclature can inadvertently exacerbate ethnic and regional tensions. Minority communities and regions may feel marginalized or excluded if their voices are not considered in decisions that impact the nation's identity. This could lead to increased divisions and social discord.

The Question Of Language

Language is a powerful tool in shaping national identity. The move to "Bharat" could be seen as an attempt to promote Hindi as the dominant language. India recognizes multiple languages and has a complex linguistic landscape.

A name change that appears to favor one language over others could trigger linguistic disputes.

According to Bloomberg, there is the problem of selecting the appropriate new name. In India, there is local competition from the region known as "Hindustan," which has its own sensitivity issues, including an origin that is related to Persian culture.

The name "India" comes from the Indus River, which today flows almost entirely through Pakistan. The word's origins can be traced back to that river. If Modi follows through with his threat to dump "India," he will unleash a whole new can of worms.

Back in 1947, when independence was on the horizon, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the creator of Pakistan, was enraged that the British had permitted his adversary Jawaharlal Nehru to preserve the name India.

This gave the impression that India would be the successor state to the British Raj (and its vast area).

Would Pakistan still be able to call its neighbor "India" if it became Bharat? Following their respective victories in the war of independence that took place in 1971, the countries that are now known as Bangladesh and Pakistan were once known as East Pakistan and West Pakistan respectively.

India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar defended the government's choice, highlighting that both "India" and "Bharat" are constitutionally recognized. He urged everyone to consult the constitution, emphasizing the nation's dual identity.

India, that is Bharat, it is there in the constitution. Please, I would invite everybody to read it.- India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

In the midst of this debate, India stands at a crossroads, wrestling with its colonial legacy, linguistic diversity, and political agendas. The decision between "Bharat" and "India" goes beyond mere nomenclature; it reflects the broader quest for a national identity in a complex and multifaceted society.

How Long Will It Take For Indian People To Accept The Name Change From India To Bharat?

Protesters holding banners reading "India" and "Bharat"
Protesters holding banners reading "India" and "Bharat"

The proposal to change India's official name to Bharat has sparked debates, discussions, and, in some cases, strong emotions. While the idea may resonate with some segments of the population, it's essential to consider the timeline for acceptance and the factors influencing this transition.

  • Generational Divide - Acceptance of the name change may vary among different generations. Older generations who grew up with the name "India" may find it more challenging to embrace the shift to "Bharat." Younger generations, on the other hand, maybe more open to the change, viewing it as a step toward asserting a distinct national identity.
  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity - India's cultural and linguistic diversity is a defining feature of the nation. The transition to "Bharat" may be met with varying reactions across linguistic and regional communities. Some communities may readily accept the change, while others may resist it, considering it a departure from their linguistic heritage.
  • Political and Ideological Factors - The acceptance of the name change is also influenced by political and ideological factors. Supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Hindu nationalist groups may embrace the change as a means of promoting their vision of India. Conversely, opposition parties and groups may view it with skepticism or opposition.
  • Education and Awareness - The speed of acceptance may be linked to education and awareness campaigns. Informing the public about the historical significance of the name "Bharat" and the reasons behind the change can play a crucial role in garnering acceptance. Public awareness initiatives can help dispel misconceptions and foster a deeper understanding of the shift.
  • Legal and Constitutional Framework - India's constitution recognizes both "India" and "Bharat" as official names. Any official name change would require a constitutional amendment, which involves a complex legal process. This legal framework may influence the timeline for acceptance, as citizens may wait for a formal constitutional change before fully embracing "Bharat."
  • International Recognition - India's international identity as "India" is firmly established. The country is recognized globally by this name. Transitioning to "Bharat" would necessitate changes in international diplomatic relations, treaties, and agreements. The speed at which the international community acknowledges and adopts the new name could impact domestic acceptance.
  • Public Discourse and Dialogue - Open and inclusive public discourse is essential in shaping public opinion and facilitating acceptance. Engaging in dialogue with various stakeholders, including linguistic and regional communities, can help address concerns and build consensus. The government's ability to manage this discourse effectively can influence the timeline for acceptance.

People Also Ask

Why Is There A Proposal To Change India's Name To Bharat?

The proposal to change India's name to Bharat is rooted in a desire to assert a distinct national identity, emphasizing the use of the Hindi or Sanskrit name alongside India's English name.

Will The Name Change Affect India's International Standing?

Transitioning to the name "Bharat" would require adjustments in international diplomacy and recognition, potentially impacting India's international standing. The timeline for such changes remains uncertain.

How Do Indians From Diverse Linguistic Backgrounds Feel About This Change?

The acceptance of the name change varies among linguistic communities in India. Some may readily embrace it, while others may view it with reservations due to linguistic heritage.

Is There A Specific Timeline For When The Name Change Will Become Official?

The official adoption of the name "Bharat" would require a constitutional amendment, making it a complex and time-consuming process. There is no specific timeline for this transition at present.


The process of changing "India" to "Bharat" is complicated by historical attachment, generational perspectives, linguistic diversity, and political forces. While the initiative seeks to establish a distinct national identity, its approval date remains questionable. Achieving a shared sense of identity and successfully navigating these issues will be critical to a smooth transition.

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