Mulayam Singh govt in 2004 sought to replace India with Bharat, but BJP had staged a walkout

Opposition and BJP clash over renaming India as Bharat, while the same BJP had staged a walk out of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly in 2004 over renaming India as Bharat.

Edited By Sayantani Biswas
Updated6 Sep 2023, 09:36 PM IST
A girl stands with the Indian national flag as she watches a live telecast of the landing of Chandrayaan-3, or “moon craft” in Sanskrit, in Mumbai
A girl stands with the Indian national flag as she watches a live telecast of the landing of Chandrayaan-3, or “moon craft” in Sanskrit, in Mumbai(AP)

While a political slugfest between Opposition bloc and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has unleashed over the a speculated renaming of India as Bharat, after G20 Summit invites to international leaders from President Droupadi Murmu, termed the latter as President of Bharat, instead of the usual President of India, reports have emerged recalling that the same BJP that is embracing the BHARAT term in 2023, has walked out of the Uttar Pradesh state Assembly in 2004 over a resolution passed by Mulayam Singh Yadav to rename India as Bharat. 

In 2004, the Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav led Uttar Pradesh cabinet had passed a resolution that the Constitution must be amended to say ‘Bharat, that is India’, instead of ‘India, that is Bharat’.  Then CM Mulayam Singh Yadav's resolution was accepted unanimously in the state legislative assembly, expect BJP, who staged a walk out before the resolution was passed.

The speculation that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would propose dropping the name India from the Constitution and retain only Bharat arose after a special parliamentary session has been convened from 18-22 September. 

While the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha has not yet declared the agendas for the five day special parliamentary session, Opposition bloc has speculated that NDA is likely to table the ‘One Nation, One Election’ bill, and propose dropping India as the name of the nation. 

2004 Mulayam Singh Yadav's ideology in proposing that India be replaced with Bharat was keeping in tandem with doing away with anything colonial, which included discarding English, a socialist stand forged under Ram Manohar Lohia

Lohia's understanding was that English created a divide between the educated and the un-educated and therefore should be replaced with Hindi as the official language. “Our country was always known as Bharat. However, during the 200 years of British rule it was named India,” the SP manifesto had stated, according to a report by Times of India

It was on September 18, 1949, that draft Article 1 of the Constitution, which refers to the Union of States as “India, that is, Bharat” was formally adopted by the Constituent Assembly.

Notably, apart from Article 1, the Constitution, originally drafted in English does not refer to “Bharat” in any other provision. The Preamble also refers to “We the People of India.”

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First Published:6 Sep 2023, 09:36 PM IST
HomePoliticsNewsMulayam Singh govt in 2004 sought to replace India with Bharat, but BJP had staged a walkout

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