Prime Minister Narendra Modi was identified as the leader representing ‘Bharat’ at the G20 Summit here on Saturday as he made his opening remarks at the beginning of the two-day meeting.
The government has used ‘Bharat’, a name used in the Constitution for the country along with India, in several official G20 documents. Official sources have said it is a conscious decision.
The name card in front of Modi as he addressed the gathering at the Bharat Mandapam, the venue of the Summit, said ‘Bharat’.
A dinner invite has been sent to G20 delegates and other guests from ‘President of Bharat’, a move which ignited a political row with opposition parties claiming the government is trying to drop ‘India’ from the country’s name. They also linked the move to their decision to name their alliance INDIA.
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The ruling BJP has cheered the use of Bharat, citing the ancient Hindi name’s cultural roots. Some leaders claimed the English name ‘India’ is a colonial legacy.
The party has, however, largely avoided getting into the ‘Bharat vs India’ debate with its leaders noting that the Constitution uses both names for the country.