by | Sep 9, 2023


The invitations for the upcoming G-20 Summit in New Delhi have sparked significant discussion due to a notable change. Rather than the traditional “President of India,” the invitations now feature the term “President of Bharat.” This alteration has reignited a broader dialogue about the country’s name and its historical significance.

The origin of both names, “India” and “Bharat,” is rooted in historical and cultural significance:

India: The term “India” is believed to have its origins in the Sanskrit word “Sindhu,” which refers to the River Indus. During ancient times, the Greeks used the term “Indoi” to describe the region, which eventually evolved into “India” in English. Over centuries, it became a widely accepted name for the Indian subcontinent, encompassing its diverse cultures and regions.

Bharat: The name “Bharat” has deep ties to Indian mythology and ancient texts, particularly the Mahabharata and the Puranas. In Hindu mythology, Bharat was a legendary emperor, the son of King Dushyanta and Queen Shakuntala. The term “Bharat” is derived from his name, symbolising a historical connection to ancient Indian civilization. It has often been used poetically and symbolically to represent India in various literary and cultural contexts.

The inclusion of “Bharat” alongside “India” in official documents and invitations reflects an acknowledgment of India’s rich cultural and historical heritage, as well as a nod to its ancient roots. This dual nomenclature serves to honour the country’s diverse identity, blending its modern and traditional aspects.

The names “India” and “Bharat” hold distinct historical, cultural, and constitutional significance within the context of the Republic of India. 

Historical Significance:

    • India: The term “India” has a historical foundation, referring to the Indian subcontinent and its diverse regions. Its roots can be traced back to the Sanskrit term “Sindhu,” signifying the River Indus. Over time, “India” became a widely accepted name for the entire region.
    • Bharat: The name “Bharat” carries deep historical and mythological roots in Indian civilization. It derives from the legendary Emperor Bharata, featured in Hindu epics like the Mahabharata and the Puranas. “Bharat” symbolizes India’s ancient heritage and cultural identity.

Constitutional Significance:

    • India: The official name of the country, as stated in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution, is the “Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic of India.”
    • Bharat: While the Constitution uses “India” as the official name, Article 1 of the Constitution of India also mentions “Bharat” as an alternative name for the country. Article 1 states, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” This provision acknowledges the historical and cultural significance of the name “Bharat.”

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity:

    • India’s Constitution recognizes the country’s linguistic and cultural diversity. It accommodates the use of multiple languages, designating Hindi and English as the official languages at the national level. States and union territories have the autonomy to choose their official languages, reflecting the linguistic diversity of the nation.

Identity and Unity:

    • The use of both “India” and “Bharat” in the Constitution signifies the concept of a united and diverse nation. It respects the historical and cultural heritage associated with “Bharat” while preserving the continuity of the official title “India.”
    • Any significant alteration to the official name of the country or related constitutional provisions would necessitate a constitutional amendment. This process is intricate and requires approval from both houses of Parliament and a majority of states.

Constitutional Amendments:

    • Any significant alteration to the official name of the country or related constitutional provisions would necessitate a constitutional amendment. This process is intricate and requires approval from both houses of Parliament and a majority of states.

In summary, “India” and “Bharat” each possess historical and cultural significance in India’s identity. While “India” serves as the official name in the Constitution, the inclusion of “Bharat” in Article 1 recognizes the ancient roots of the nation’s name. This dual nomenclature underscores the nation’s commitment to unity in diversity and its rich historical heritage, as stipulated in Article 1 of the Indian Constitution. Any amendment to the constitutional provisions concerning these names would require thorough deliberation and a formal constitutional amendment process.

Written By Vishakha Khatri

My name is Vishakha Khatri. I am an engineering graduate and a civil service aspirant with a passion for spreading knowledge about Indian polity. I believe that understanding our political system is crucial for every citizen, and I am committed to making this information accessible to everyone in my own easy way. Through my experiences in civil service preparation and my unique perspective as an engineering graduate, I hope to inspire and educate others on the importance of Indian polity.

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