WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL NAME OF THE COUNTRY? INDIA VS BHARAT
In English, the South Asian giant is called India, while in Indian languages it is also called Bharat, Bharata and Hindustan.
The preamble to the English version of the constitution starts with the words “We, the people of India…,” and then in Part One of the document it states “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.”
In Hindi, the constitution replaces India with Bharat everywhere, except the part defining the country’s names, which says in Hindi, “Bharat, that is India, shall be a Union of States.”
Changing India’s name to only Bharat would require an amendment to the constitution which would need to be passed by a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF BOTH THE NAMES?
Both names have existed for more than two millennia.While some supporters of the name Bharat say “India” was given by British colonisers, historians say the name predates colonial rule by centuries.
India comes from the river Indus, which was called Sindhu in Sanskrit. Travellers from as far away as Greece would identify the region southeast of the Indus River as India even before Alexander the Great’s Indian campaign in 3rd century BCE.
The name Bharat is even older, occurring in ancient Indian scriptures. But according to some experts it was used as a term of socio-cultural identity rather than geography.
Where it is given India ,that is Bharat in the constitution of India
Article 1 Name and territory of the Union – Constitution Of India
1. India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.
2. The States and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.
3. The territory of India shall comprise—
- the territories of the States;
- the Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and
- such other territories as may be acquired.
And what about ‘India’ and ‘Hindustan’? INDIA VS BHARAT
The name Hindustan is thought to have derived from ‘Hindu’, the Persian cognate form of the Sanskrit ‘Sindhu’ (Indus), which came into currency with the Achaemenid Persian conquest of the Indus valley (northwestern parts of the subcontinent) that begin in the 6th century BC (which was the time of The Buddha in the Gangetic basin).
The Achaemenids used the term to identify the lower Indus basin, and from around the first century of the Christian era, the suffix “stan” came to be used with the name to create “Hindustan”.
The Greeks, who had acquired knowledge of ‘Hind’ from the Achaemenids, transliterated the name as ‘Indus’. By the time the Macedonian king Alexander invaded India in the 3rd century BC, ‘India’ had come to be identified with the region beyond the Indus.
By the time of the early Mughals (16th century), the name ‘Hindustan’ was used to describe the entire Indo-Gangetic plain. Historian Ian J Barrow in his article, ‘From Hindustan to India: Naming Change in Changing Names’ (Journal of South Asian Studies, 2003) wrote that “in the mid-to-late eighteenth century, Hindustan often referred to the territories of the Mughal emperor, which comprised much of South Asia”.
From the late 18th century onwards, British maps increasingly began to use the name ‘India’, and ‘Hindustan’ started to lose its association with all of South Asia. “Part of the appeal of the term India may have been its Graeco-Roman associations, its long history of use in Europe, and its adoption by scientific and bureaucratic organisations such as the Survey of India,” Barrow wrote.
“The adoption of India suggests how colonial nomenclature signalled changes in perspectives and helped to usher in an understanding of the subcontinent as a single, bounded and British political territory,” he added.