The Supreme Court today asked the Central Government to treat a writ petition seeking direction to change the name of the country as “Bharat” from “India” as a representation and to take a decision on the same.The bench remarked that the Court cannot pass any directions to amend the Constitution for such name change.
“We cannot do that. India is already called Bharat in the Constitution”, CJI SA Bobde said, referring to Article 1 of the Constitution.
Petitioner Namaha was represented by Advocate AshwinVaish who submitted that the name “India” is originated from the Greek word “indica” and “History is riddled with examples of “Bharat Mata kiJai” being used”.
The counsel urged the bench to allow him to make a representation before the Centre for such purposes, after getting a response which conveyed disinclination to pass any positive directions from the Court.
The Court disposed of the plea by directing the appropriate Ministry to treat the writ petition as a representation on the request of the counsel.
In 2016,a similar plea had been dismissed by the SC. The name “India” as asign of colonial hangover and not authentically reflecting the cultural heritage of the country was expressed in the present petition.
“The time is ripe to recognise the country by its original and authentic name, i.e. BHARAT; especially when our cities have been renamed to identify with the Indian ethos…. In fact the word India being replaced with BHARAT would justify the hard fought freedom by our ancestors”, the plea said.
There has been a failure on part of the Union of India to do away with the name “India” which is a “symbol of slavery”, contented the petitioner and stated that this had caused “injury” to the public resulting in “loss of identity and ethos as inheritors of the hard-won freedom from foreign rule”.
The petitioner cited the Constituent Assembly debates dated November 15, 1948 to substantiate his arguments, while debating Article 1 of the draft of the Constitution wherein Shri M. AnanthasayanamAyyangar had Seth Govind Das battled for the adoption of names “Bharat, Bharat Varsha, and Hindustan “instead of” India”.