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 President of Bharat from the constitutional point of view

  • An official invitation sent out by Rashtrapati Bhavan in connection with the G-20 summit in New Delhi under India’s presidency which carried the nomenclature of the President of India as ‘President of Bharat’ set off a controversy.

  • In fact, at the moment, constitutionally speaking, there is no President of Bharat in the country.

  • Article 52 says that there shall be a President of India. 

  • This is the official nomenclature of the head of the state which cannot be changed into anything else unless Article 52 is amended suitably. 

  • Thus, it is quite obvious that the term ‘President of Bharat’ is not in conformity with Article 52 of the Constitution.

  • Article 1 says, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”. 

  • These words by no means signify that the words ‘India’ and ‘Bharat’ are interchangeable and that ‘Bharat’ can be used in place of ‘India’ as the official name of the country. 

  • As a matter of fact, the word ‘Bharat’ is not used in any of the articles of the Constitution except in the Hindi version, which was published under the authority of the President under Article 394A.

  • The word ‘Bharat’ does not stand as an independent word in the original Constitution.

  • It is to be used only in the Hindi translation of the Constitution. 

  • Further Article 394A(2) says “the translation of this Constitution…shall be construed to have the same meaning as the original thereof...”; 

  • This clause reinforces the point that the word Bharat is a translation of the word ‘India’, as used in the original Constitution, and India is the authentic name of the country until it is legally changed.

Issues associated with changing name of the country

  • The use of ‘Bharat’ interchangeably with ‘India’ in official communication can create a great deal of confusion. 

  • The official name of the country is the Republic of India. 

  • Republic of India is the name used in all official communication sent to foreign countries and international bodies. 

  • Agreements and treaties entered into with foreign countries are in the name of the Republic of India and not republic of Bharat. 

  • If Bharat is used interchangeably, the foreign governments will be thrown into utter confusion. 

  • In some agreements with foreign governments or international bodies India will be shown as Republic of India and in some other, as republic of Bharat. 

  • A country can have only one official name. It can be either India or Bharat, not both.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Bharat UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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