Modi uses ‘Bharat’ rather than ‘India’ for G20 nameplate amid name-change controversy

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s placard at the G20 summit’s start on Saturday referred to India as “Bharat,” sparking rumor’s that the South Asian country’s name may be changing.

In Indian languages, India is also known by the pre-colonial names Bharat, Bharata, and Hindustan. Both the general population and government use these names interchangeably.

President Droupadi Murmu referred to herself as the “President of Bharat” in a dinner invitation for a reception of G20 leaders earlier this week, causing controversy. The country has traditionally stuck to using India in titles such as president or prime minister when communicating in English.

Modi opened the summit in New Delhi on Saturday from behind a table nameplate that said “Bharat,” while both “Bharat” and “India” were inscribed on the G20 emblem in Hindi and English, respectively.

In the past, these signs have referenced “India”.

As the President of the G20, India welcomes the delegates, Modi remarked in Hindi, the language that the bulk of the people speaks.

The summit of the bloc will be held in New Delhi at the Bharat Mandapam, a brand-new $300 million conch-shaped conference venue located next to a 16th-century stone fort.

While some Bharat advocates assert that British colonizers gave “India” its name, historians contend that the term stretches back centuries before colonial authority.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the main organisation of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), has insisted on naming the nation Bharat from its founding.

The new opposition coalition, known as INDIA or the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, which was created in July by 28 parties to challenge the BJP in the next parliamentary elections, according to Modi’s opponents, pushed the move.