India or Baharat?

Goodbye India, hello Baharat; In India a dramatic change is announced

The Indian ruling party announced its intention to bring to a vote in the country's parliament a proposal for an unprecedented change, changing the country's name from "India" to "Baharat"

( Photo by Avi Ohayon)

The most populous country in the world recently announced that it will bring to a vote in Parliament an official decision to change the name of the country internally and externally from "India" to "Baharat".

The rumors on this topic emerged after an official invitation from the President of India to the participants of the G20 summit referred to the invitations for the leaders of the countries to attend the conference in the presence of the "President of Baharat." Initially, this caused some confusion, but now it appears that the change is closer than originally thought.

"Baharat" is a well-known name in India. Most of the Indians who were asked explained that internally the name "Baharat" is used more than the name "India." Referring to the country as "Baharat" also appears in the constitution and is explained similarly to the distinction between the popular name "Holland" in the world (which originally belongs to only one province) and the name "Netherlands," which is rarely used but is the true name by which the country identifies itself.

The name "India" primarily refers to the southern region around the Indus River, where historians believe the beginnings of Indian culture developed. In contrast, "Baharat" symbolizes a more comprehensive and localized concept for the entire country.

In addition, many also pointed out the colonialist context of the name "India," as some argue that it was imposed on the country as a result of over a century of use under British rule on the Indian subcontinent.

On the other hand, many oppose a complete change of the country's name. The lower house of the British Parliament called not to abandon the name "India" altogether and explained: "While there is no legal impediment to calling India 'Bhart,' which is one of the two official names of the country, I hope the government will not act foolishly and entirely relinquish the name 'India,' which has been a brand and a valued name for hundreds of years. We should continue to use both names instead of giving up the historically recognized name worldwide."

Even the Indian Parliament's Upper House member, Shrad Pravar, stated: "No one has the right to change the name of the country. I don't understand why the ruling party is bothered by the country's name."

Furthermore, the ruling party has formally announced its intention to bring such a name change to a vote in Parliament. It is not yet clear whether the change will be comprehensive and substantive or symbolic in nature, but in any case, significant changes are expected in the mighty country.

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