Dinner with the President of Bharat — a G20 invite sparks row

Dinner with the President of Bharat — a G20 invite sparks row
  • Politicians across parties as well as Twitterati remained polarised on the name on dinner invites.
  • Congress MP Jairam Ramesh has said that the Union of States is under assault.
  • The President has given priority to Bharat, commented education minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

A dinner invite in relation to the ongoing G20 summit in New Delhi has sparked a controversy as its host was addressed as ‘President of Bharat’. Even after Union Minister Anurag Thakur clarified that a proposal to rename India as Bharat are ‘rumours’, the topic is trending on social media with supporters and dissenters on either side.

It is noteworthy that an opposition bloc formed by 26 political parties recently — including Indian National Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and more — has been named Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A).

As names blur, the official invite from the President referring to India as Bharat, has left many baffled. “Now, Article 1 in the Constitution can read: Bharat, that was India, shall be a Union of States. But now even this ‘Union of States’ is under assault,” said Jairam Ramesh, a Congress Member of Parliament.

On the other hand, Dharmendra Pradhan, the country’s education minister supported the change. "This should have happened earlier. This gives great satisfaction to the mind. Bharat is our introduction. We are proud of it. The President has given priority to Bharat. This is the biggest statement to come out of the colonial mindset,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“It is a proud moment for every countryman to have "The President of India" written on the invitation card for the dinner to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan during the G20 Summit,” said Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.

The debate has raged on, on social as well as other media. “How can the BJP strike down INDIA? The country doesn't belong to a political party; it belongs to 135 crore Indians. Our national identity is not the BJP's personal property that it can modify on whims and fancies,” said Raghav Chadha, a Rajya Sabha member from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The meme storm

The Twitterati in the meantime waded into this by sharing their views, with a few sharing photos of the constitution, and others shared the passport photos as they argued if the ancient name of Bharat should now be used. A few others went on to suggest changing the name of Indus Valley Civilization where the name India was derived from.

For years, the Indian business community has been using the term Bharat to define a majority of aspirational, educated population which resides beyond the big cities, i.e for the consumption market which has been driving growth in businesses. Many even refer to rural and semi urban markets as Bharat.


Now, they will need a better nomenclature for this market.