For the first time, “President of Bharat” has been used in place of the conventional “President of India” in an official invitation to foreign leaders attending the weekend G20 conference. As the nation hosts the major event that will include speakers like UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and US Vice President Joe Biden, this is a significant shift in terminology on the global stage.
“President of Bharat” rather than “President of India” appears on President Droupadi Murmu’s invitation to G20 foreign leaders and Chief Ministers for a luncheon on September 9.
According to officials, this is the first time India’s nomenclature for an official function has changed.
Officials note that the word “Bharat” appears in the Constitution as well. According to Article 1 of the Constitution, “India, which is also known as Bharat, shall be a Union of States.”
The term “Bharat” was also used in a G20 booklet called “Bharat, The Mother Of Democracy” that was distributed to international delegations to promote India’s G20 leadership and its long history of democratic values.
The booklet’s introduction reads, “Taking the consent of the people in governance has been part of life in Bharat, that is India, since the earliest recorded history.” The statement continues, “Bharat is the official name of the nation. It is mentioned in the Constitution and in debates from 1946 to 1948.
One among the first to applaud the significant improvement was Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, “REPUBLIC OF BHARAT – happy and proud that our civilisation is marching ahead boldly towards AMRIT KAAL.”
REPUBLIC OF BHARAT – happy and proud that our civilisation is marching ahead boldly towards AMRIT KAAL— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) September 5, 2023
Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister, said the move had been long overdue. “This should have happened earlier. This gives great satisfaction to the mind. ‘Bharat’ is our introduction. We are proud of it. The President has given priority to ‘Bharat’. This is the biggest statement to come out of the colonial mindset,” he said
While BJP officials applauded the decision, the opposition sharply criticised it, linking it to the name of their front against the BJP in 2024, INDIA, or the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance.
Manoj Jha, a leader of the RJD, stated: “…It has only been a few weeks since we designated our coalition as INDIA and BJP has started issuing invitations with ‘Republic of Bharat’ instead of ‘Republic of India’. ‘India that is Bharat’ is the first sentence of Article 1 of the Constitution. You won’t be able to take India or Bharat away from us.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the head of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), asked, “Will BJP replace ‘Bharat’ with something else, if INDIA alliance changes its name to Bharat?”
Article 52 – Constitution of India.— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) September 5, 2023
There shall be a President of INDIA
Can’t get more explicit than this – Can it ??????? pic.twitter.com/9OoPcLBktW
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