Srinagar- For the first time, President Droupadi Murmu has officially invited world dignitaries attending G20 summit for dinner as the ‘President of Bharat’ replacing traditional ‘President of India’ which sparked a row as the opposition claimed it to counter their alliance named ‘INDIA’.
The controversy triggered at a time when New Delhi is being spruced up for the global summit in which leaders of rich nations would attend G20 meet from September 9-10 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host heads of state, including US President Joe Biden.
It was Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan who on Tuesday shared a G20 dinner invitation on X (formerly Twitter) from President Murmu which described her position as “President of Bharat”.
Pradhan used the hashtag ‘#PresidentOfBharat’ and said, “Jana Gana Mana Adhinayak Jaya He, Bharat Bhagya Vidhata”. Besides the first line of the national anthem, the post in Hindi also used the words “Jai Ho”.
Later on Tuesday evening, another twist to its credence came from BJP’s spokesman Sambit Patra who shared an official document naming Narendra Modi named ‘Prime Minister of Bharat’.
Patra posted official information on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Indonesia, referring to him as the ‘Prime Minister of Bharat’
PM Modi will be heading to the South East Asian nation on September 7 to attend the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit.
Also reports about the identity cards of Indian officials at the G20 Summit to read ‘Bharat’ official as opposed to Indian officials surprised all in the opposition who resented the move.
The opposition leaders alleged that the shift to using the name “Bharat” instead of India in English language communication was a way of preventing the alliance from being identified with the country’s name.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said there will be deliberation on the issue in a meeting convened on Wednesday by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge with chiefs of the parties which are part of the INDIA (Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance), an Opposition bloc of 28 parties aiming to take on the BJP-led Centre in next year’s general elections.
“No one has the right to change the country’s name, after the Congress claimed that a G20 dinner invite refers to the President as “President of Bharat”.
“I don’t understand why the ruling party is perturbed over a name related to the country,” the NCP chief said.
The Congress was vociferous in attacking the BJP government accusing it of being “scared” of the INDIA bloc and diverting from issues such as price rise and “rising joblessness”.
“So the news is indeed true. Rashtrapati Bhawan has sent out an invite for a G20 dinner on Sept 9thin the name of ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the usual ‘President of India’,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X Tuesday. “Now, Article 1 in the Constitution can read: Bharat, that was India, shall be a Union of States. But now even this ‘Union of States’ is under assault.”
“Mr Modi can continue to distort history and divide India, that is Bharat, that is a Union of States. But we will not be deterred. After all, what is the objective of INDIA parties? It is BHARAT — Bring Harmony, Amity, Reconciliation And Trust. Judega BHARAT, Jeetega INDIA!” Ramesh said.
To this, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said, “Who are these people who are opposing the name Bharat? Now they are having a problem even with the name. They see the party above the country. They defame the country even from foreign soil. Some people may have a problem with the name of UPA. 2G and other scams are associated with them. Changing your name will not change your work. People are seeing this ‘Ghamandia Gathbandhan’ which is full of arrogance…”
Congress Working Committee (CWC) member and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said, “While there is no constitutional objection to calling India ‘Bharat’, which is one of the country’s two official names, I hope the government will not be so foolish as to completely dispense with ‘India’, which has incalculable brand value built up over centuries. We should continue to use both words rather than relinquish our claim to a name redolent of history, a name that is recognised around the world.”
At a Teacher’s Day function in Kolkata, Banerjee said, “I have heard that in the invitation card for the G20 summit dinner, it is mentioned Bharat in English. We say India and the Indian Constitution and in Hindi we say ‘Bharat ka Samvidhan’. We all say ‘Bharat’. What is new in this? But the name India is known to the world. What happened when they suddenly had to change the name of the country? Any day, we will see them (BJP) change the name of Rabindranath Tagore also. History is being rewritten in the country.”
AAP Supreme leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “I have not read or received any official information but heard from here and there that BJP wants to rename India as Bharat. The country is of 140 crore people, it does not belong to any one party. Just because some parties came together and formed an alliance and named it INDIA, you want to rename the country? Let’s say, if the INDIA alliance holds a meeting and decides to rename it to Bharat, will they change the name again? Will they then name Bharat as BJP… The country belongs to 140 crore people, this is not a joke.”
On September 1, for the first time RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said, “Our country has been known as ‘Bharat’ for ages. Whatever may be the language, the name remains the same. We don’t have to think about whether anyone outside will understand this or not. If they want to, they will, but that is not our problem.”
Referring to this speech, DMK MP Kanimozhi asked whether the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is setting the agenda for the entire nation.
“Reading this [G20 summit dinner invitation] brings up a lot of questions. Is RSS setting the agenda for the entire nation?” Kanimozhi said.
Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha reacted sharply saying: “We didn’t realise BJP was so weak. It has only been a few weeks that our alliance INDIA came into existence and they have already stopped sending invitations in the name of ‘India’. With such antics they will lose both India and Bharat.”
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that he is happy and proud that the country’s civilisation is marching ahead boldly towards Amrit Kaal.
Taking to the social media platform, X, Assam Chief Minister said, “Republic of Bharat- happy and proud that our civilisation is marching ahead boldly towards Amrit Kaal.”
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