The Supreme Court will hear on June 2 a plea that wants the government to amend the Constitution and replace the word “India” with ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hindustan’ for the country, claiming it will “instill a sense of pride in our nationality.”
A bench of Justices AS Bopanna & Hrishikesh Roy adjourned the hearing to June 2 on account of the unavailability of Chief Justice SA Bobde today.
The plea has been filed by Namaha, an individual, stating that the country should be recognised by its “original” and “authentic name” Bharat. Petitio
“The removal of the English name though appears symbolic, will instill a sense of pride in our nationality, especially for the future generations to come. In fact, the word India being replaced with Bharat would justify the hard-fought freedom by our ancestors,” the plea claimed. Referring to the 1948 Constituent assembly debate on Article 1 of the then draft constitution, the plea said even at that time there was a “strong wave” in favour of naming the country as ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hindustan’.
As per reports, on 12 March 2016, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition seeking renaming of India as Bharat. Reacting to the absurdity of the plea, the bench of Justices TS Thakur and UU Lalit asked, “Do you think we have no other work except dealing with emotional issues?”. It further admonished the petitioner – Niranjan Bhatwal, a Maharashtra-based social activist stating, “Help the poor through the PIL jurisdiction. If you want to call it Bharat, do so. Nobody is stopping you,” according to reports.
The PIL said in the Constituent Assembly, the prominent suggestions for naming the country were “Bharat, Hindustan, Hind and Bharatbhumi or Bharatvarsh and names of that kind”.
The plea had sought a direction to NGOs and corporates that they should use term ‘Bharat’ for all official and unofficial purposes.