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1) Impact of Name change


  • Recently the Indian president had extended invitations for the G20 dinner which had the word Bharat rather than India. This step has raised speculations about a potential name change to article 1 of the Indian constitution.
  • Some people argue that the name Bharat better reflects the nation’s identity and culture, while others maintain that India is a well-established and internationally recognized name.
  • This article will discuss the implications of changing the name to Bharat.

What does article 1 say?

  • Article 1 states that “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”.
  • Article 1 of the Indian Constitution deals with the name and territorial jurisdiction of India. It is a fundamental provision that lays the foundation for the entire constitutional framework.
  • The article states that India is a federation of states and lists the territories that are part of India. It also gives the power to the Parliament to admit new states or alter the existing ones.

What could be the impact?

  • The interchangeable use of a country’s different names has implications not only for the future of that nation’s identity but also for other Third World nations.
  • For the nation in question, changing its name could signify:
    • a conscious effort to assert its cultural identity,
    • decolonise its self-image,
    • preserve its historical and linguistic heritage.
  • This shift can serve as a symbol of pride and resilience against colonial legacies and external influences, fostering a sense of unity and belonging among its citizens.
  • The decision by one country to change its name can serve as a precedent and inspiration for other Third World nations facing similar identity challenges.
  • It can encourage them to explore and assert their own cultural and historical identities, potentially leading to a broader movement towards decolonisation and linguistic sovereignty across the Third World.

A word of caution while changing names:

  • It’s important to note that each nation’s circumstances are unique, and the decision to change a name should be context-specific.
  • It may not be suitable or necessary for every nation, as there are many factors at play, including historical legacies, linguistic diversity, and public sentiment.
  • There should be a careful consideration of historical, cultural, and political factors.

India to Bharat:

  • The changing of India’s official name from “India” to “Bharat” in its Constitution would be a matter of profound significance, encompassing historical, cultural, and political dimensions.
  • “Bharat” carries a deep historical and cultural legacy, rooted in Hindu mythology and ancient texts, symbolising India’s rich traditions and identity.
  • Bharat’ has been used historically to refer to the Indian subcontinent as a whole, emphasizing the idea of a united cultural and national identity that transcends regional boundaries.
  • It symbolizes the continuity of civilization and cultural traditions in the Indian subcontinent over thousands of years.
  • ‘Bharat’ is not just a historical or cultural concept; it is also the official name of India in the Hindi language. Article 1 of the Indian Constitution declares that India shall be known as ‘Bharat’ in Hindi and as ‘India’ in English.

What could be the results of changing the name to Bharat?

  • The proposal to adopt “Bharat” as the official name can be seen as part of a wider effort to decolonise the minds of the people and promote linguistic sovereignty.
  • For many Third World nations, the historical legacy of colonial oppression is a deeply ingrained aspect of their identity, and renaming the country can serve as a symbolic step towards reclaiming their cultural heritage.
  • This move acknowledges the importance of indigenous languages, cultures, and traditions in shaping a nation’s identity and fosters inclusivity in a culturally diverse society.
  • It aligns with the broader goals of recognising and valuing diverse cultural perspectives.

Results in the context of soft power struggles:

  • In the context of the ongoing soft power struggle between countries, preserving and protecting cultural identity can serve as a strategic advantage.
  • A nation’s cultural heritage is a unique and authentic source of influence on the global stage.
  • By showcasing and preserving their cultural traditions, countries can distinguish themselves internationally and convey their identity, values, and contributions more effectively.
  • In an era where cultural diplomacy and cultural exchange play significant roles in shaping international relations, the choice of a name carries far-reaching implications.
  • Retaining and projecting cultural identity becomes a potent tool for nations seeking to assert their presence and impact in the global arena, as it fosters a sense of pride and unity among citizens while also attracting international attention and cooperation.

Way Forward:

  • The decision to change India’s name to “Bharat” should be made through a transparent democratic process that respects the cultural significance of “Bharat” while considering the historical and international dimensions associated with “India”.
  • It is a symbolic step towards acknowledging the historical legacy of colonial oppression and promoting inclusivity, aligning with the goals of a culturally diverse and equitable society in the modern world.
  • India should also cultivate a sense of national identity and pride among its citizens by celebrating its cultural heritage and constitutional values.


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