Rumors India May Change Name Fueled by Bharat G20 Invitation

A state-issued invitation to the G20 summit referred to India as Bharat has created buzzing speculation over the rumored government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to scrap the official use of the country’s English name.

A word dating back to ancient Hindu scriptures written in Sanskrit, Bharat is one of two official names for the country under its constitution.

Although Modi’s government has long been working to remove British rule’s lingering symbols from India’s political institutions, urban landscape, and history books, this could be the biggest move yet as India hosts this weekend the G20 summit.

World leaders have already received an invitation to a state dinner hosted by the “president of Bharat”, and “Bharat” has also been used in a G20 booklet titled “Bharat, The Mother Of Democracy” meant for foreign delegates.

The booklet says that Bharat is the official name of the country, noting that it is mentioned in the Constitution and also in the discussions of 1946-48.

Members of his Hindu nationalist ruling party, Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) have previously campaigned against using the name India, which was imposed during the British conquest and most Indians consider it as insult.

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