While India is marking a history by hosting the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used the prospect to send out a clear message to the world leaders that the country is perhaps getting a new name - from India to Bharat. While the Constitution warrants amendments to change the name of the country, Modi's move in the G20 summit on Saturday - September 9 was in a fashion that he had arbitrarily declared that the name has already been changed to Bharat.
Changing India's name to Bharat has been one of the contentious propagandas of the Hinduvta BJP in transforming the country as a Hindu nation. Armed with the majoritarian power, the Modi regime is executing those propagandas including this game of changing the country's name, advocating for 'One Nation, One Election', and Uniform Civil Code. The Modi regime is planning to accomplish these propagandas ahead of the 2024 general elections.
The BJP government has also announced that it would convene a special parliament session later this month during which these propagandas would possibly given shape towards becoming a law. While the name change of India to Bharat has drawn a huge flak from the opposition parties that had alleged that the move to change the name of the country had come days after the chief of RSS, the BJP's parent body, urged to call India as 'Bharat'.
Now, amidst the G20 summit which India is hosting for the first time under Modi's leadership, Modi has gone a step further in sending a message to the world leaders that India should be called Bharat henceforth. While the nation was watching Modi's opening remarks in the G20 summit in Delhi, what caught a huge attention was his nameplate. The nameplate that is placed before each leader would carry their country's name and in all the summits and forums so far, the nameplate before Modi carried 'India'.
Now, the nameplate carried the term 'Bharat' and his strong message to the global leaders about the name change has come when he is yet to get domestic clearance from the people of India. Though the Constitution proclaims 'India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States', Modi's move of 'Bharat' nameplate before the world leaders had sharply appeared to be the BJP's objective of informing the leaders that India shouldn't be called India anymore.
The national debate over the name change was sparked after the President's invite had gone viral. In an invite to the leaders for a G20 dinner, President Droupadi Murmu had addressed herself as the 'President of Bharat'. When such a debate grew stronger, the government's notification about Modi's visit to the recently-held ASEAN summit in Indonesia addressed him as the 'Prime Minister of Bharat'.
'Bharat' has also been used in a G20 booklet meant for foreign delegates titled - 'Bharat, The Mother of Democracy. Bharat is the official name of the country. It is mentioned in the Constitution as also in the discussions of 1946-48." The BJP's campaign of Bharat has got a good reception in the Hindi speaking states with a few celebrities had also welcomed the name change.
It seems that a gameplan for the name change was recently prepared as the scenes that occurred last month were totally opposite. When Prime Minister Modi attended the BRICS Summit in South Africa last month, there were no mention of Bharat in his address and neither the nameplate before him was Bharat. In his address, Modi said that India fully supports the expansion of BRICS and will be moving forward with the consensus on the same.
Within weeks, BJP's agenda to change the name started to emerge and it has now culminated to an open declaration not only to Indians but also to the global leaders that India has become 'Bharat'. In his opening remarks at the G20 summit on Saturday, Modi said, "Today, as the president of G 20, India calls upon the world together to transform the global trust deficit into one of trust and reliance. This is the time for all of us to move together. In this time, the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas' can be the torch bearer for us. Be it the divide between North and South, the distance between East and West, management of food and fuel, terrorism, cyber security, health, energy or water security, we will have to find a solid solution to this for future generations."
#WATCH | G 20 in India | PM Modi at the G 20 Summit says "Today, as the president of G 20, India calls upon the world together to transform the global trust deficit into one of trust and reliance. This is the time for all of us to move together. In this time, the mantra of 'Sabka… pic.twitter.com/vMWd9ph5nY— ANI (@ANI) September 9, 2023