Britishers came to India during the Mughal rule. Hindustan used to be the name for India at that time. Later Britishers named it as British India. Which then comprised of present states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma. Present India now doesn’t include the above-mentioned states as now they have converted into individual countries.
The Constituent Assembly on 18th September 1949, considered different names for them to be born nation. The names that were being considered were- Bharat, Hindustan, Hind, Bharatbhumi, and Bharatvarsh.
The word ‘Bharat’ is taken from the Sanskrit language. And, is also one of the most ancient terms. One can look at its reference with the Hindu Puranas and the Mahabharata. Also, with a reference to a tribe named ‘Bharat’ in the Rigveda. The name ‘Bharat’ has its origination from the Hindu texts and the Sanskrit language. Which makes the name of high religious importance for the people practising the Hindu religion.
‘Hindustan’- a Persian word whereas ‘India’ is a Latin word. They both are derived from the old-Persian term ‘Hindu’. Hindustan was the name by which our nation was known during the Mughal rule. After that, Britishers named it as British India. The members of the Constituent Assembly held many debates regarding this. The name ‘Hindustan’ was completely rejected. While the name was to be finalised for our newly born independent nation.
Eventually, Article 1(1) of the Constitution of India was written as the official article. It is still the only provision that clearly mentions the name of the country.
Article 1 (1) of the Constitution of India states “India that is Bharat, shall be a union of states”.
Therefore, the Constitution gives equal places to both the names, India as well as Bharat. This clearly means that the only technical difference between the two names is the language.
A Delhi-based man filed a plea regarding the country’s name. He claimed that India’s name should be changed. It should only be called Bharat. He claimed that such an amendment will “ensure the citizens of the country to get over the colonial past”. His plea also claimed “removal of the English name”. Though appears symbolic, will instil a sense of pride in our own nationality. Especially for the generation to come. In fact, “the word India being replaced with Bharat would justify the hard-fought freedom by our own ancestors”. He gave the reference of the debate held in 1948 on Article 1 of the then drafted Constitution. The PIL sought an amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution of India. This was done to retain Bharat and exclude India from the country’s name.
On hearing this PIL, the Chief Justice of India S.A Bobde on June 03, 2020, said that the Apex Court cannot do it as India is already called Bharat as stated in the Article 1(1) of the Indian Constitution.
The Supreme Court disposed of the petition. They also directed the petitioner to send a copy of his writ petition as a representation.
In my opinion, so much is going on lately in the country. And, with so much to develop and improve the plea to change the name of the country is useless. It should be given zero importance. The point shouldn’t be considered as our Constitution equates both the names India as well as Bharat. To be honest, it isn’t practically possible for most of us to fathom this nation without thinking of ‘India’. This is what we have heard and learnt everywhere- home, school, books, television, etc. while growing up.