The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to intervene in a plea that sought to change India’s name to “Bharat”, NDTV reported. The apex court said that the writ petition should be treated as a representation and asked the Centre to take a decision on it.
A Delhi-based businessman, Namaha, filed a petition that sought an amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution, which reads, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States...”, The Hindu reported. The petition asked for ‘India’ to be struck off from the Article, saying that it symbolised “slave mentality”.
“Bharat and India are both names given in the Constitution,” Chief Justice of India Sharad Bobde said. “India is already called ‘Bharat’ in the Constitution.”
The petitioner argued that the name “India” was of Greek origin, derived from the word “Indica”. He claimed that renaming it to Bharat will help citizens of this country get over the colonial past, adding that it would also justify the hard-fought freedom by our ancestors.
In 2016, the Supreme Court had dismissed a similar petition. Then Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had said that every Indian had the right to choose between calling his country “Bharat” or “India”. He had said the apex court cannot decide what a citizen should call his country.