The BJP has painted as “anti-Modi, anti-national and anti-Hindu” those who counselled caution on any plan to drop the name “India” and flagged its likely fallout on the diversity-rich country.
“Why does the Congress have so much objection to every subject related to the honour and pride of the country? Why do people who hold political yatras in the name of Bharat Jodo hate the proclamation of ‘Bharat mata ki jai’?” BJP president J.P. Nadda posted on X.
Nadda’s attack came after Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “Union of States is under assault”, reacting to the use of Bharat alone in the presidential invite.
“It is clear that the Congress has neither respect for the country, nor for the Constitution of the country, nor for the constitutional institutions…. The whole country knows very well the anti-national and anti-constitutional intentions of
the Congress,” Nadda added.
Ever since the Opposition adopted INDIA as the name of its new bloc, rumours have been floating in power corridors that the ruling BJP could push for adopting “Bharat” as the official name of the country. However, BJP leaders denied this could be a reason and tore into Ramesh’s post to accuse political opponents of having a problem with “Bharat”.
BJP leaders, who had been seeking to exploit DMK minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s call to “eradicate Sanatana Dharma” to accuse the entire INDIA bloc of being “anti-Hindu”, jumped onto the “Bharat” bandwagon on Tuesday, appearing elated that the ongoing controversies were diverting attention from issues like price rise and lack of jobs.
“Why is there an issue with saying or writing Bharat? Why are you feeling ashamed, Jairam Ramesh? Our nation has been called Bharat since ancient times and it is even mentioned in our Constitution,” BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh said.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was the first to demand that the official name of the country be changed to “Bharat” since the name India was given by the British, wrote on X: “REPUBLIC OF BHARAT — happy and proud that our civilisation is marching boldly towards AMRIT KAAL.”
Sarma, who crossed over from the Congress to the BJP, took on his former party. “Now my apprehension has proven to be true. The Congress party seems to have a strong aversion towards Bharat. It appears that the name ‘I.N.D.I alliance’ was intentionally chosen with the aim of defeating BHARAT,” he responded to Ramesh’s post.
Most INDIA bloc leaders sought to launch a political attack on the BJP, saying the use of “Bharat” in the official invite was spurred by the name of the Opposition alliance.
“Our country is of 140 crore people. What if the INDIA alliance changes its name to ‘Bharat’ alliance, will they (BJP) change the name ‘Bharat’?” Delhi chief minister and AAP boss Arvind Kejriwal asked.
RJD MP Manoj Jha posted on X: “It has been just a few weeks since we named our alliance INDIA and BJP has started sending invitations with ‘Republic of Bharat’ instead of ‘Republic of India’. Article 1 of the Constitution reads ‘India that is Bharat’. Neither will you be able to take India from us nor Bharat…”
BJP leaders focused their attack on the Congress. “Our country is ‘Bharat’, there should be no doubt about this. The Congress has a problem with everything,” Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said.
Junior external affairs minister Meenakshi Lekhi, asked what prompted the government to use Bharat instead of India, said: “There is nothing in the mind of the government except the fact that our country is Bharat. Some people may or would have called it India but the original name of this country is Bharat, and even the Constitution says it.”
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, speaking at an event in Guwahati last week, had urged people to shun “India” and use only Bharat. “We all should stop using the word India and start using Bharat…. While speaking or writing we should use only Bharat,” he had said.