Instead of using two names, which is ridiculous, we should restore the original name Bhaarat, and let the world know who we are as a historical race.
How many countries in the world have two names? One constitutionally documented and another probably an English translation for people who cannot pronounce it correctly. Since English or any other European language-speaking people had a problem pronouncing names of eastern origin, they changed names of countries and their peoples according to their convenience, which we blindly accepted. We, in India for example, function with two names for our country. The original name, ‘Bhaarath,’ as derived from our historical past; and the name was given by our invaders, ‘India.’ These invaders, who came up to the river Sindhu, pronounced it as Hindhu. In the course of time, this became Indus which became India which they found easiest to pronounce. The name has finally stuck on us for several centuries now.
Our historians should give a satisfactory explanation for the evolution of this name “India” and trace its origin. In my own research, I have not found this name India either in the Vedas, Puranas, Itihasas, or even in the Amarakosha. The ancient scriptures say “Jambu Dweepe, Bhaarata Varshe….” And, from time immemorial, a meaningful Padam in Samskrith mentions Bhaarat that has been in vogue for centuries. Can anyone refute these facts?
Mahatma Gandhi wanted to dissolve the Indian National Congress after Independence to form another party with an indigenous nomenclature. Fearing an identity crisis, his political descendants did not heed his advice.
Yet our Constitution called this country by the name “India” which we have used liberally even after our country gained independence from foreign invaders. While our leaders proudly use the name “Bharatha” or “Bhaaratamaata” when they speak in our Rashtrabhaasha or vernacular languages, they switch over to call this nation “India” while addressing the nation in English. I think we prefer to call our country “India” for the benefit of non-Bhaarateeyas.
While our neighbouring country Srilanka eschewed the name Ceylon long ago (that name is not used anywhere even by mistake) we, in this country, prefer to cling on to that name left behind by our invaders. If our present rulers thought it appropriate to change the names of cities, streets, and airports from their British or Muslim nomenclatures, why have we not thought fit to do the same with our country’s name? Instead of using two names, which is ridiculous, we should restore the original name Bhaarat, and let the world know who we are as a historical race.
According to political analysts, Mahatma Gandhi wanted to dissolve the Indian National Congress after Independence to form another party with an indigenous nomenclature. Fearing an identity crisis, his political descendants did not heed his advice. They continued to fight the national elections under the same familiar name of the ‘Indian National Congress.’ A splinter group from that party, however, called themselves the Janata Party which later became the Bharatiya Janata Party. Since changing the name of our country to Bhaarat may be advantageous to the ruling BJP, the Congress opposition may not agree to the change. Since this issue has political implications, the nation really needs a healthy debate on the question of Bhaarat versus India to arrive at an amicable solution regarding an appropriate name for our nation. Needless to add, this is a matter of national pride.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.