What's in a Name? The Debate Over India's Official Name: India vs. Bharat 

What Does Our Constitution Say?

India, the world's largest democracy and the second most populous country, is it to be called India or Bharat? What does our Constitution say?

The official name debate resurfaced up as President Droupadi Murmu invited G20 leaders to a dinner at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sep 9, 2023, using "President of Bharat" instead of "President of India.

The debate over the country's official name (India or Bharat) isn't new; it dates back to the pre-independence era.

However, after independence in 1947, India was chosen as the official name by the Constituent Assembly, which drafted the Constitution.

Article 1 of the Constitution of India, states that “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” Uses both words.

The name India is derived from the Sanskrit word for the Indus river, sindhu, which was corrupted by the Persians and Greeks into Hindush and Indos respectively

The name Bharat originates from King Bharata, who according to Hindu mythology was an ancestor of Lord Rama and ruled over a large part of South Asia.

The Supreme Court has also dismissed petitions seeking a name change from India to Bharat in the past, saying that both names are valid and acceptable.

The government has not confirmed if it plans to introduce a bill to amend the Constitution and make Bharat the sole official name.

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