Why is India thinking of changing its name?

Why is India thinking of changing its name?
Inside G20: How 20 Nations Shape Global Economic Policy
India times / VideoElephant

India is rumored to be thinking of changing its name to remove the symbols of British colonial rule.

A state-issued invitation to the G20 summit this weekend, hosted by India, referred to the country in a different way, inviting world leaders to a state dinner hosted by the “president of Bharat”.

Prime minister, Narendra Modi, typically refers to India as Bharat, a word dating back to ancient Hindu scriptures written in Sanskrit, and one of two official names for the country under its constitution.

Members of his Hindu nationalist ruling party, Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), have previously campaigned against using the name India, which was imposed during the British conquest.

The broadcaster News18 said unnamed government sources had told it that BJP lawmakers would put forward a special resolution to give precedence to the name Bharat in the next session of parliament - so watch this space.

It is not the first move from Indian governments to get rid of the legacy of the British colonial era.

Modi has stressed the need for India to abandon traces of a “colonial mindset”.

His administration renovated the parliamentary precinct in the capital, New Delhi, which was originally designed by the British, to replace colonial era structures.

Last month, the government outlined plans for an overhaul of India’s pre-independence criminal code to remove references to the British monarchy and what the home minister, Amit Shah, described as “other signs of our slavery”.

The government has also renamed roads and streets.

Reactions to the plan to potentially change India's name were mixed.

Shashi Tharoor, of the opposition Congress party, said on X/Twitter:

The former Test cricketer Virender Sehwag said he welcomed the prospect of a name change:

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