Since Tuesday, Indians have swept up in a debate about what the nation should be called. Is it India or Bharat? It all started when the dinner invitation that emerged on Tuesday from the president’s office to G20 summit delegates declared that it had been sent by “President of Bharat” instead of the customary “President of India”.
This set off a wave of speculation that the Bharatiya Janata Party government intended to officially change the name of the country.
Opposition parties claimed that this would a possibility because the BJP is nervous about the fact that the coalition they have formed to fight the next elections uses the acronym INDIA –the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance.
BJP supporters, on the other hand, claimed (wrongly) that India was a name imposed by the British. They asserted that Bharat is a more appropriate name culturally.
On this matter, India’s Constitution says: “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.”
Late on Tuesday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told The Indian Express that there was no plan to change the country’s name. “These are just rumours which are taking place,” he said.
But in the meantime, the country’s cartoonists had offered several perspectives on the debate.
PenPencilDraw referred to the fact that the government has demolished homes of the poor and hidden shanty towns behind curtains ahead of this week’s G20 meeting in Delhi.
Satish Acharya put it down to a fear of the Opposition alliance.
Nomenclatural wars are not new in India, particularly in states ruled by the BJP. So EP Unny suggested replacing the “refresh” button on computers.
Will there be a new day to mark the change?
Satirist Ashish Bagchi and cartoonist Mahafuj Ali joked about films that have an India connection.
Others wondered what will happen to names of institutions and agencies that have India in it, such as the Board of Control of Control for Cricket in India.
Alok considered the economic implications of a possible change.
While jokes and memes continue to flood social media, in the end, perhaps the name change would mean nothing mean nothing and change the sad reality for common people, as suggested by cartoonist Sajith Kumar.