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Country need not be called Bharat, govt tells apex court

This comes in response to a PIL seeking a declaration that the Republic be called ‘Bharat’ for official and unofficial purposes by Union and state governments

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: November 16, 2015 1:21 am
india, bharat, india name, petition against india, india names, supreme court, bjp, nda, india news Supreme Court of India

THE NDA government has told the Supreme Court that the country does not have to be called ‘Bharat’ instead of ‘India’.

Responding to a PIL seeking a declaration that the Republic be called ‘Bharat’ for official and unofficial purposes by Union and state governments, the Centre claimed “there is no change in circumstances to consider any change in Article 1 of the Constitution of India.” Article 1(1) says, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” This is the only provision in Constitution on how this country be called for official and unofficial purposes.

Submitting its affidavit recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said issues regarding the country’s name were deliberated upon extensively by the Constituent Assembly during drafting of the Constitution and clauses in Article 1 were adopted unanimously. It further argued that the name ‘Bharat’ did not figure in the original draft of the Constitution and it was during debates that the Constituent Assembly considered names such as Bharat, Bharatbhumi, Bharatvarsh, India that is Bharat, Bharat that is India and Bharat as is known in English language India. It said there was no change in circumstances since the Constituent Assembly debated the issue to warrant a review.

A representation by the PIL petitioner’s advocate Ajay G Majithia, the MHA said, had been examined and the plea now deserves to be dismissed.

Petitioner Niranjan Bhatwal, a social activist, had filed a PIL last year but the top court asked him to wait till his representation is decided upon by the government. After the government refused, he filed a fresh PIL and a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu sought reply from Centre and state governments in April.

Majithia had said Article 1.1 must be interpreted keeping in view Constituent Assembly’s intention, “which wanted to name the country Bharat”. The plea said ‘India’ was coined during colonial era and the country, historically and in scriptures, is called Bharat. “India was used in Article 1 for reference, in order to repeal Government of India Act, 1935, and Indian Independence Act, 1947,” the petition said.

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  1. A
    Nov 16, 2015 at 1:15 pm
    India and even stan should be merged and called Bharat its original name.
    1. D
      Nov 17, 2015 at 4:46 pm
      Bro if our country starts separation for every caste religion n language then India will be divided into more than 100 countries n it will be the same condition wen British arrived here for the first tym Our ancestors dey forgot the caste religion n language and United and fought against the foreign ruler N made dis Grt Nation India or Bharat or Hindustan So respect each n every religion culture n language in our country.
      1. D
        Dillip Patnaik
        Nov 16, 2015 at 7:04 am
        No to India, country should be called Bharatvarsha, not even Hindsustan which is Persian. Bharatvarsha should be represented with national symbol and the old temples rather Taj Mahal which is burial building of a dead lady.
        1. Francis Anthony
          Nov 16, 2015 at 5:21 pm
          Sanity prevails. I applaud the NDA government for taking a firm stand on this issue. There are more important things to do. India will be always India by whatever name you call it, so why change it. It is a beautiful name.
          1. Raghu Panjala
            Nov 16, 2015 at 12:20 pm
            If our fathers debated on India being Bharat ,there is no need to do so again and again wasting court's time. Its for good this issue to be rested. Sanghis now will burn with hate.
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