According to recent speculations that have been sparked by invitations for the G20 summit asking individuals to join the “President of Bharat” for dinner, the Narendra Modi government may officially rename India to “Bharat.”
In the Indian Constitution, the phrase “India, that is Bharat”—which means “shall be a Union of states”—is used as the official name of the nation. The Indian Constitution was drafted and made public in 1951, but it had already been the subject of heated discussion both before and after India’s independence in 1947.
Bharat, the Sanskrit name for the nation, is derived from ancient Puranic literature as well as from the Mahabharata, one of India’s two major epics. Hindus believe that the fictional ruler Bharat, who gave rise to the Indian race, is the origin of the Indian people. Many historians think it originates from ancient Hindu writings. In Hindi, the word also denotes “India”.
When referring to the Republic, its ministries, internal and international correspondence, and when describing government personalities as Indian leaders, the name “India” is used in all official documents for the nation that are written in English. The term “India” is used as the official marker of citizenship on legitimate identification documents, including passports and voting cards.
In contrast, “Bharat” is used instead of “India” in publications written in Hindi, one of India’s 22 official languages along with English.