Bharat, or India, as chosen by the Constituent Assembly

Bharat, or India, as chosen by the Constituent Assembly

On November 17, 1948, the first Article 1 discussion was scheduled to start. The debate over the name was, however, postponed to a later time on Govind Ballabh Pant’s advice.

What would become Article 1 of the Constitution of India was hotly contested in the Constituent Assembly, with issues ranging from whether two commas were required to the wording and even the name of the newly independent country itself. Who made what claims, and how did the Article become law?

many defenses of India or “Bharat”

On November 17, 1948, the first Article 1 discussion was scheduled to start. The debate over the name was, however, postponed to a later time on Govind Ballabh Pant’s advice.

The final draft of the provision, which featured both “Bharat” and “India,” was given to the House by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on September 17, 1949. Several participants opposed the usage of the word “India,” which they believed to be a throwback to the time of colonialism.

Jabalpur native Seth Govind Das preferred to rank Bharat over India. It was a common request from various members to emphasize that India was a replacement for Bharat in “English language”.

The words “India, that is, Bharat” are not very lovely when used as a country’s name. We ought to have written, “Bharat known as India also in foreign countries,” he stated.

Hari Vishnu Kamath argued that the word “India” was merely a translation of “Bharat,” using the Irish Constitution as an example.

The Irish Free State was one of the few nations in the modern era to change its name after achieving freedom, and the fourth article of its Constitution refers to the change in the name of the land, he said.

According to the constitution of the Irish Free State, “the name of the State is Eire, or, in the English language, Ireland,” Kamath continued.

Hargovind Pant, the representative of the hill districts of the United Provinces, made it clear that the people of Northern India “wanted Bharatvarsha and nothing else.”

We must be aware that this moniker was given to our nation by outsiders who had robbed us of our freedom in order to take advantage of the wealth of our nation after learning about its riches. If we continue to use the offensive term that foreign authorities forced upon us, it will simply demonstrate that we are not embarrassed of it.

historical allusions

Das countered that “Bhara” is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana and the Brahma Purana. Others claimed that the name “Bharat” was used by the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang in the seventh century.

Explained | Savarkar’s definitions of Hindustan, Bharat, Sanatan Dharma, and Hindu Dharma

 We should definitely give our nation a name that reflects our history and culture, Das said.

Additionally, Das brought out a leaflet that was intended to “prove that [India] is older than [Bharat],” according to him. “I want it to be known that this is false, and I want it to be recorded. Both “Idyam” and “Ide” refer to fire. “Ida” denotes voice, while “Idenyah” has been employed as a fire-related term,” Das said.

Kamath proposed that possible names that are taken directly from the scriptures include Bharat, Bharatvarsha, or Bharatbhumi.

“Historians and philologists have studied the name of this country in great detail, particularly the origin of the name Bharat. Regarding the origin of the name Bharat, none of them are in agreement. Some attribute it to the son of Dushyant and Shakuntala, who established his suzerainty and empire in this ancient land and was also known as “Sarvadamana” or the All-Conqueror. This country became named as Bharat after him,” he said.

The refrain of Ambedkar

Dr. Ambedkar repeatedly reminded the House that since no one was against the term “Bharat,” there was no need for the civilisational argument.

He replied to Kamath’s intervention, “We are just now debating whether the word ‘Bharat’ should appear after ‘India’.

Ambedkar questioned the need for this when Kishori Mohan Tripathi spoke at length about how the word “Bharat” conjures up images of India’s former splendor.

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