In diverse India, name change demands consensus
The invitation for the G-20 summit in New Delhi, calling the Indian President 'President of Bharat,' sparked controversy due to political tensions and distrust across the nation.
Constitutional Perspective on Changing India's Name
- Constitutional Clarity: The controversy surrounds the use of 'President of Bharat' in official G-20 summit invitations under India's presidency, raising constitutional questions.
- Constitutional Amendment required: Constitutionally, the official title is 'President of India,' specified in Article 52, and can only be changed through a constitutional amendment (Article 368).
- A Name game: The Constitution does mention "India, that is Bharat" in Article 1, but this clarifies that 'Bharat' serves as a translation for 'India' rather than an interchangeable term.
Implications of Using 'Bharat' Interchangeably
- Potential Confusion: Using 'Bharat' interchangeably with 'India' in official communication could create confusion, especially in international agreements and treaties.
- Can hamper global image: The official name, 'Republic of India,' is consistently used in international affairs and should not be altered arbitrarily.
- Bharat as a secondary suggestion: The Constituent Assembly originally debated using 'India' as the sole name and added 'Bharat' later as a compromise, with no intention of interchangeability.
Broader Implications and Impacts
- Controversy and Alienation: Changing a country's name should not be a political party's agenda; consensus is essential in diverse countries like India.
- To break Colonial legacy: A rushed effort to distance from colonialism by altering names risks alienating certain sections of the population.
- Hinder Unity and Cooperation: India's newfound anti-colonial enthusiasm should align with its motto of 'VasudhaivaKutumbakam,' promoting global unity rather than division.