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Bharat: A Journey Through the Names of a Nation With Reference Of Current Name Change Row India Vs Bharat

India, or Bharat, a land of diverse cultures, languages, and traditions, has carried multiple names throughout its rich history. This article delves into the intriguing evolution of the nation's nomenclature, from the pages of the Rig Veda to the hallowed text of the Constitution of India.


  The Origins of 'Bharat'

The roots of "Bharat," "Bharata," or "Bharatvarsha" stretch back to Puranic literature and the epic Mahabharata. Described as the land between the southern sea and the northern abode of snow, 'Bharat' embodies more than just a geographical identity. Social scientist Catherine Clémentin-Ojha sees it as a religious and socio-cultural entity, transcending politics and geography.

'Bharata' also harkens back to the legendary king who stood as the ancestor of the Rig Vedic tribe of the Bharatas and, by extension, the progenitor of all subcontinental peoples.

  The Era of 'India' and 'Hindustan'

'Hindustan,' often associated with 'Hindu,' emerged from 'Sindhu' (Indus) and gained prominence with the Achaemenid Persian conquest of the Indus valley in the 6th century BC. The suffix "stan" was later added to create 'Hindustan.' By the time of Alexander the Great's conquests, 'India' began to encompass the region beyond the Indus.

During the Mughal era, 'Hindustan' referred to the Indo-Gangetic plain, but the British, from the late 18th century, favored 'India' on maps, gradually distancing 'Hindustan' from its all-encompassing association with South Asia.

  The Constitutional Conundrum

When the framers of the Indian Constitution discussed the nation's name, 'Hindustan' was discarded. Instead, both 'Bharat' and 'India' found their place. The debates during the Constituent Assembly sessions in September 1949 reveal the sentiments of that era.

Some members, like Hari Vishnu Kamath, proposed "Bharat, or in the English language, India," while Seth Govind Das suggested "Bharat known as India also in foreign countries." Hargovind Pant, representing the Northern regions, staunchly advocated for 'Bharatvarsha,' emphasizing a desire to shed the colonial legacy associated with 'India.'

In Conclusion

The intertwined histories of 'Bharat' and 'India' reflect the nation's complexity and its journey from ancient legends to modern constitutional debates. This dual nomenclature, while evoking diverse visions, ultimately symbolizes India's remarkable diversity and resilience.

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