The Hindu

Nation’s name plea can be sent to Centre: SC

“Bharat and India are both in the Constituti­on’

- Krishnadas Rajagopal

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that a plea to change India’s name exclusivel­y to ‘Bharat’ be converted into a representa­tion and forwarded to the Union government for an appropriat­e decision.

“Bharat and India are both names given in the Constituti­on. India is already called ‘Bharat’ in the Constituti­on”, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde orally said in a virtual court hearing.

The petioner, Namah, through his counsel, said ‘India’ is a name of foreign origin. The name can be traced back to the Greek term ‘Indica’.

The counsel said, “The word ‘Bharat’ is closely associated to our Freedom Struggle. The cry was ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.”

The court said the petition be transforme­d into a representa­tion and forwarded to the Ministries, primarily the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The petition seeks an amendment to Article 1 of the Constituti­on, which says “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States...”. It wants ‘India’ to be struck off from the Article. “This will ensure citizens of this country to get over the colonial past and instil a sense of pride in our nationalit­y. Will also justify the hard fought freedom by our freedom fighters”, it said.

The court had dismissed a similar petition in 2016. Then CJI T.S. Thakur had said that every Indian had the right to choose between calling his country ‘Bharat’ or ‘India’.

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