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Supreme Court seeks Government response on renaming India as ‘Bharat’

April,24,2015: PIL seeks clarification on the phrase — “India, that is, Bharat shall be a Union of States” — used in Article 1 of the Constitution.

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the government on a petition seeking a declaration that the Republic be called ‘Bharata’ instead of ‘India.’

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu issued notice to the Centre and all the States on a public interest petition filed by social activist, Niranjan Bhatwal from Maharashtra, that the public should have an “unambigous understanding” that the country’s name is ‘Bharata.’

It sought a clarification on the phrase — “India, that is, Bharat shall be a Union of States” — used in Article 1 of the Indian Constitution. The petitioner represented by Ajay G. Majithia and Rahul Pandey said there the word ‘India’ is not a literal translation of the word ‘Bharata.’ Besides the country, both historically and in the Scriptures, is known as ‘Bharata.’

It said ‘India’ is a name coined during the Colonial era.

It said that the Constituent Assembly had debated many names for the new-born Republic, and some of them were “Bharat, Hindustan, Hind and Bharatbhumi or Bharatvarsh and names of that kind”.

“The country has one principal name, which is historically significant, that is ‘Bharat’. The first Article of the Constitution of India states that 'India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States', implicitly codifying ‘Bharat’ name for the Republic of India,” the petition contended.

It wants the government to confirm whether the name 'India' was incorporated merely for the limited purpose of recognition of the Republic by other countries.Hindu

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