NEW DELHI: What will the United Nations do if the Modi government decides to officially change/substitute the name of the country from India to ‘Bharat’? A senior United Nations official has clarified that the UN considers requests from countries to change their names when such requests are received. This statement comes in the midst of a controversy over President Droupadi Murmu’s G20 dinner invitations, which referred to her as ‘President of ‘Bharat” instead of ‘President of India.’
Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Farhan Haq, explained on Wednesday that the UN had previously responded to a formal request from the Turkish government when Turkey changed its name to Turkiye last year. In response to inquiries about the possibility of India changing its name to ‘Bharat’, Haq stated, “Well, in the case of Turkiye, we responded to a formal request delivered to us by the Government. Obviously, if we get requests like that, we consider them as they come.”
In India, a controversy arose on Tuesday when invitations for a G20 dinner were sent out by President Murmu, identifying her as ‘President of ‘Bharat” instead of the customary ‘President of India.’ The opposition accused the Narendra Modi government of planning to discard the name India and retain only ‘Bharat’ as the country’s name.
However, the G20 summit dinner invitation is not the first time that the Union government has used ‘Bharat’ in official communications. It used ‘Prime Minister of Bharat’ during Modi’s visits to South Africa and Greece too.
According to reports, the government may use the proposed five-day special session of Parliament from September 18-22 to officially substitute India with ‘Bharat’.
Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue during an interaction with his ministerial colleagues, advising them to steer clear of the political dispute surrounding the ‘Bharat’ matter. He noted that ‘Bharat’ has been the country’s ancient name.
Sources said the PM he was particular that only those with adequate familiarity with the subject should speak, marshalling facts to counter opponents of the idea, while always exercising restraint.
During the interaction with the Union Council of Ministers, Modi also outlined guidelines for their conduct during the upcoming G20 summit. He urged them to remain in the national capital during the event and fulfill any assigned duties to ensure that visiting dignitaries do not face any inconvenience.
(With inputs from agencies)

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