Has Narendra Modi confirmed India’s ‘Bharat’ Name Change?

Rumours surrounding India’s possible name change to Bharat continue and Narendra Modi’s addressal at the G20 Summit further fuelled them.

Has Narendra Modi confirmed India's 'Bharat' Name Change f

Mr Modi was also identified as the leader representing 'Bharat'.

Narendra Modi addressed the G20 Summit in New Delhi and it attracted a lot of attention due to the country’s name being displayed as ‘Bharat’.

Videos and photos shared on social media showed a placard displaying ‘Bharat’ as the Indian Prime Minister delivered his inaugural address.

Mr Modi said: “India’s G20 Presidency has become a symbol of ‘Sabka Sath’ inside and outside of the country.

“This has become the people’s G20 in India and over 200 meetings were held across the country.”

At the summit, Mr Modi was also identified as the leader representing ‘Bharat’.

This has led some to wonder if this was confirmation of India’s name change.

Rumours that the Indian government was considering changing the country’s name to Bharat came to light when pictures of the official invite for the G20 Summit featured the words “President of Bharat”.

Some members of Mr Modi’s BJP have been calling for the name change.

Both names are spelt out in India’s constitution, which refers to “India, that is Bharat”, but until now the Hindi name Bharat was mostly only used in Hindi-language communications.

Mr Modi has also called for a “special session”, beginning on September 18, 2023.

While its agenda has not been announced, many believe it will be used to officially announce India’s name change to Bharat.

The idea has drawn criticism from the opposition party.

Rahul Gandhi, of the National Congress Party, described the debate as “distraction tactics” and a sign of the government’s “fear” ahead of an upcoming election.

Mr Modi’s BJP is set to seek re-election for a third term early in 2024.

Congress’ Praveen Chakravarty said: “Our view is quite clear: we would prefer to use both names as per the constitution, which says ‘Bharat, that is India’.

“We don’t think it should be one or the other.”

Mr Chakravarty claimed that “a lot of it is a diversionary tactic” to draw “attention away from the Adani story”.

Mr Gandhi has attacked Mr Modi for his ties to Gautam Adani, founder of the Adani Group, which is now under regulatory and political scrutiny in India because of its links to opaque offshore investment vehicles.

Since taking power in 2014, Mr Modi’s government has taken steps to change place names.

Ahead of the inaugural address, Narendra Modi welcomed the likes of US President Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak at the Bharat Mandapam.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director and Chairman Kristalina Georgieva and World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala were among the first to arrive at the newly built venue in Pragati Maidan.

Mr Modi welcomed the world leaders against the backdrop of the replica of the Konark Wheel, a 13th-century artefact symbolising time, progress and continuous change.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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