Tharoor says BJP may stop game of name-changing if Oppn alliance becomes BHARAT

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was referring to the ongoing controversy over the BJP-led Union government's apparent move to refer to the nation as ‘Bharat’ and not ‘India’.
Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor
Kerala MP Shashi TharoorFacebook/Shashi Tharoor
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Reacting to controversy over the Union government purportedly planning to omit the name ‘India’ from the Constitution and retain only ‘Bharat’, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that the opposition alliance INDIA could change their acronym to BHARAT, after which perhaps "the ruling party might stop this fatuous game of changing names". After a controversy erupted on Tuesday, September 5 over a dinner invite sent out in the name of the ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the usual term 'President of India’, several Opposition leaders alleged that the Union government was looking to shun the name ‘India’ for the country because the rival parties’ alliance I.N.D.I.A. had chosen the same name.

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said that the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), formed by 26 political parties including Congress, could call itself the Alliance for Betterment, Harmony And Responsible Advancement for Tomorrow (BHARAT). After the alliance was formed, the BJP and its supporters began distancing themselves from the name India, preferring to use Bharat instead.

Shashi Tharoor, who was recently inducted into the Congress Working Committee, took more shots at the BJP government, saying it was vexed with the INDIA alliance. Earlier, he posted the etymology of Indonesia, "which is thought to derive its name from the Greek indos meaning India", and said, "Oops! Is Indonesia to become the only legatee of the historically resonant name our rulers wish to abandon? Or should we urge them too to rename themselves Bharatdwipa?"

Read: Can the government really remove the name ‘India’? What the Constitution says

In addition to retweeting posts about India being named after the Indus river and having nothing to do with the British as claimed by BJP supporters, Shashi Tharoor also wrote, "While there is no constitutional objection to calling India ‘Bharat’, which is one of the country’s two official names, I hope the government will not be so foolish as to completely dispense with ‘India’, which has incalculable brand value built up over centuries. We should continue to use both words rather than relinquish our claim to a name redolent of history, a name that is recognised around the world."

Read: India, that is Bharat: What the Constituent Assembly debates say

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