India to Bharat: Unravelling the G20 Invite Controversy

"India to Bharat"
The news has been making rounds in the global media about India reportedly changing its official name to Bharat. However, this recent development seems to be tightly bound to a misunderstanding related to the G20 invite. But what is the real story behind this news? Read on to understand the controversy in detail.

Origin of the Controversy

This controversy erupted when reports suggested that in the latest invite from Italy for the G20 summit, the country India was referred to as “Bharat”. Since then, various media outlets have been speculating on whether India intends to change its official name from India to Bharat.

India or Bharat: A Constitutional Perspective

"India to Bharat"

It is important to clarify that, constitutionally, both “India” and “Bharat” are accepted names for the country. As per the Constitution of India, the name “India” is used for international dealings while “Bharat” is used internally. So, labeling the country as Bharat is not strictly incorrect. However, using it in an international forum like the G20 is less common and thus has raised eyebrows.

Clarification from Italian Embassy

Shedding light on this issue, the Italian Embassy in New Delhi released a statement clarifying that the name ‘Bharat’ was used only as a translation of ‘India’ in the Italian language invite. The embassy affirmed that they use ‘India’ in English communications and ‘Inde’ in French, while ‘Bharat’ is used on their invitations in the Italian language.

Conclusion: India to Bharat?

While this recent development sparked expansive debate, it appears to be a misunderstanding. India is not officially changing its name to Bharat. Instead, the incident reflects a misinterpretation of Italy’s use of the locally recognised name ‘Bharat’ in the Italian language invitation. As the official clarification from the Italian embassy reveals, the invites were simply a translation, adhering to the usual practice of adjusting the invitation language. Therefore, India remains India at the global level, even as it continues to be called Bharat domestically by its citizens.