Supreme Court declines to entertain petition to rename ‘India’ as ‘Bharat’

Counsel for the petitioner argued that the name ‘India’ was derived from the Greek word ‘Indica’, and said that the change in name was sought to the exclusion of ‘India’

Supreme Court of India (File photo)
Supreme Court of India (File photo)
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NH Web Desk

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a petition filed for changing the name of India to Bharat, while allowing it to be treated as a representation before the concerned Union ministries, legal news website BarandBench.com reported.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde with Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy asked the petitioner's counsel why he had approached the court, since the Constitution itself says that India is also called Bharat.

"But India is already called Bharat in the Constitution," said the Supreme Court.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that the name 'India' was derived from the Greek word ‘Indica’, and said that the change in name was sought to the exclusion of ‘India’.

"The name India has been sought to be excluded. It has not been derived from within India, it is a name of Greek origin derived from the word ‘Indica’,” he said.

When the Court intimated its disinclination to entertain the petition, counsel urged for allowing the petition to be treated as representation before the concerned Ministry, which was allowed by the court.

The petition had stated that the time had come to recognize the country by her "original and authentic name", which is ‘Bharat’, particularly considering that many cities within the country have seen a name change to identify with the ‘Indian’ ethos.

This name change, according to the petitioner, is pertinent to ensure that the citizens of the country get over the colonial past. The removal of English names may be symbolic, he says, adding that it will "instill a sense of pride in our own nationality."

"The word INDIA being replaced with BHARAT, would justify the hard fought freedom by our ancestors," said the petition.

It is also the claim of the petitioner that it is the duty of the government, which is "State" under the purview of Article 12, towards its citizens to amend Article 1 to change the country's name. Further, the fundamental right under Article 21 which "entitles every citizen the equal right to call his/her own country BHARAT", is also invoked by the petitioner.

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