A+| A| A-

The Politics of a National Name

India That Is Bharat

A recent writ petition on renaming India as Bharat, which got dismissed by the Supreme Court, is discussed. There are political motives behind naming or renaming a place, but Hindustan, Bharat, and Hind—are all part of the package that is India.

 

Earlier in June, the Supreme Court of India heard a writ petition that sought to remove the name “India” from Article 1 of the Constitution. As it stands, Article 1 reads: “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” The petitioner argued that the national name “India” was one given by the colonial Raj, and was thus a symbol of slavery. As legal principle, the petitioner proffered Article 21, the fundamental right to life and personal liberty, to ­argue that the continued use of such a colonial relic violated the citizens’ right to call their nation by its rightful name, “Bharat.” “Bharat,” the petition added, is favourably associated with the legacy of the anti-colonial resistance, and was therefore preferable. Seeking the exercise of the Court’s writ jurisdiction in public interest, the petitioner sought the direction to the union government, through the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, to remove the allegedly offensive national name via an amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution. On 3 June 2020, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition with the advice that it be treated as a representation by the appropriate Ministry. “(W)e can’t do it,” the Court reportedly said (Indian Express 2020). 

Past Efforts

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Updated On : 24th Jul, 2020

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

The genesis and evolution of the COVID-19-led migrant crisis in India, along with the institutional responses, is discussed. The focus is on the...

C P Bhambri believed that the task of social science, like all other sciences, was to arrive at the truth on the basis of well-established facts....

The COVID-19 pandemic may affect the financing opportunities for innovation. The revenue loss induced by the pandemic is likely to divert the...

When the goods and services tax was introduced in July 2017, states were given a revenue guarantee of 14% per annum on their GST revenue over the...

India’s public health system has struggled to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Even before the pandemic, India’s public health infrastructure was...

The National Education Policy, 2020 unveiled finally seeks to usher in major structural reforms in higher education. Among many measures,...

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown led to the closure of all markets in Manipur, including the Tribal Market Complex in Imphal East...

Coherent national strategies, backed by regional cooperation efforts, offer a way forward for economic recovery in South Asia, which is rapidly...

Sections 357 and 357-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 lay down the procedure for granting compensation to the victims of crime. Under the...

The COVID-19 pandemic has provocatively challenged the extant paradigm of development whose theoretical underpinning is derived from the...

Back to Top