Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma gets trolled for changing ‘India’ in Twitter bio to ‘Bharat’

Sarma changed his bio for the first time on July 18, soon after Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge announced the name of the 26-party Opposition combine, I.N.D.I.A.

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (photo: IANS)
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (photo: IANS)

Zenaira Bakhsh

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma changed his Twitter bio from “Chief Minister of Assam, India” to “Chief Minister of Assam, BHARAT."
Six days later, on Monday, July 24, he was explaining for the third time why he felt the urgent need to change his bio.

"In my previous bio, I mentioned Assam, INDIA. However, I forgot to update it after my journey from the INDIAN National Congress to the BHARATIYA Janata Party. Now, I have proudly changed my bio to Assam, BHARAT," he wrote, mentioning that some friends from the Congress continued asking him why he changed his bio. "I hope this explanation will satisfy them."

Sarma changed his bio for the first time on July 18, soon after the Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge announced the name for the 26-party Opposition combine, Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).

After the announcement, Sarma criticised Opposition parties for choosing 'INDIA' as the acronym for their coalition, emphasising that the country's name should be 'Bharat' to break free from colonial legacies.

Last week, Sarma wrote: "Our civilisational conflict is pivoted around India and Bharat. The British named our country as India. We must strive to free ourselves from colonial legacies. Our forefathers fought for Bharat, and we will continue to work for Bharat. BJP for BHARAT."

His move sparked speculation among netizens and led to a good deal of trolling. Critics pointed our that Sarma himself had his Twitter bio set as 'Chief Minister of Assam, India' before the update. 

Hitting back at him, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh wrote: "Is the Assam CM having a surplus of sour grapes in his mouth? His new mentor, Mr. Modi, gave us Skill India, Start-up India and Digital India—all new names for ongoing programmes."

Ramesh further noted that prime minister Narendra Modi had asked chief ministers of different states to work together as 'Team India'. "He even made an appeal to Vote India!," said Ramesh. "But when 26 political parties call their formation INDIA (Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance), he throws a fit and says use of India reflects ‘colonial mentality’! He should go tell that to his Boss."

"Another BJP Buffoon"

Responding to his recent tweet, Congress member, Supriya Shrinate responded by calling him "Another BJP Buffoon!" on Twitter.

The Indian National Congress general secretary in charge of organisation K.C. Venugopal said:

"The BJP’s divisive tendencies are [on] full display, as they try to divide our country on its many names. India is Bharat, and Bharat is India. If you had ever looked at the Constitution, you would have read Article 1. You divide people on religious, caste, community, ethnicity, and regional lines on a daily basis. Are people who cheer for India on the cricket field not Bharatiya? Are Bharatiyas who proudly tell the world that they’re Indian, any less patriotic? Mr. Sarma, stop looking at India through its fault lines. Look at what unites us—our patriotism, our brotherhood and our harmony is what makes us Indian! Judega Bharat, Jeetega INDIA!
K.C. Venugopal

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