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Why Some Countries Change Their Name: Exploring the Possibility of India Being Renamed Bharat

Bharat, Change, Countries, Exploring, India, Possibility, Renamed

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Bharat: India’s Possible Name Change at the G20 Summit

Official invitations for guests at the G20 summit dinner have sparked speculation that India may be changing its name.


The invites refer to Droupadi Murmu as “President of Bharat” instead of the usual “President of India.”

A recent tweet posted by a senior spokesperson of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also referred to Narendra Modi as the “prime minister of Bharat.”

While India is the most commonly used name for the country, it is often called Bharat and sometimes Hindustan by Indian officials and the public.

Bharat is a Sanskrit term found in scriptures from around 2,000 years ago.

Renaming Cities and Opposition

Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP government has already renamed several cities linked to the Mughal and colonial periods.

Critics see it as an attempt to erase the Muslim Mughals who ruled the country for 300 years.

The opposition party has also warned against removing the country’s long-established name.

“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,” lawmaker Shashi Tharoor posted on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

“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,” he added.

Other Nations That Changed Their Names

Countries often change their names for political, geographic, and religious reasons. Here are some other nations that are now known by a different name:

Turkey – Türkiye

In 2022, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan informed the United Nations that his country should now be termed “Türkiye” in all languages.

“The word ‘Türkiye’ represents and expresses the culture, civilization, and values of the Turkish nation in the best way,\” the president said.

He added that it was a better representation of the nation rather than the name of a bird.

Czech Republic – Czechia

Although the Czech Republic is still an official name for the central European nation, the government prefers the simpler title Czechia.

Authorities say it makes it easier for the nation to be recognized in international events like sporting competitions and in tourism marketing campaigns.

“I use the word Czechia because it sounds nicer and it’s shorter than the cold Czech Republic,” President Miloš Zeman said in 2019.

Holland – The Netherlands

In January 2020, the Netherlands dropped the name Holland as part of a rebranding campaign.

The government said the Netherlands better represents the country as open, modern, and inclusive.

Macedonia – North Macedonia

In 2019, the Republic of Macedonia officially became the Republic of North Macedonia.

The name change occurred during political disputes with Greece and was used to distinguish the country from the Greek region of Macedonia.

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