New Delhi, Sep 5 (EFE).- The invitation to an official dinner in the framework of the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi, on Tuesday caused a political storm in India over the use of the word “Bharat,” another name for the country recognized by its Constitution.
“The President of Bharat requests the pleasure of the company of (…) at Dinner on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 2000 hrs,” read the invitation, shared on social media by politicians from the opposition.
Issued on behalf of the country’s president, Droupadi Murmu, the invitation has been interpreted in electoral terms by members of a recently formed opposition coalition ahead of the 2024 general election.
This coalition of 26 political groups, led by the historic Congress Party (INC) of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, was named INDIA, which stands for the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance.
The INC in a social media post on X, formerly known as Twitter, took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government questioning why it was afraid of the name INDIA.
Article 1 of the Constitution says, “India, that is Bharat, is a Union of States”.
However, the recent invitation has led to rumors among several sections of the opposition that the Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi could change the country’s name from India to only Bharat.
“While there is no constitutional objection to calling India “Bharat”, which is one of the country’s two official names, I hope the government will not be so foolish as to completely dispense with “India”, which has incalculable brand value built up over centuries,” INC parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor posted on X.
“We should continue to use both words rather than relinquish our claim to a name redolent of history, a name that is recognised around the world,” he added.
Meanwhile, members of the BJP expressed approval of the use of Bharat in the invitation.
“REPUBLIC OF BHARAT – happy and proud that our civilisation is marching ahead boldly towards AMRIT KAAL,” Himanta Biswa Sarma, chief minister of the northeastern state of Assam from the BJP, posted on X. EFE