Is the word India a symbol of British slavery, understand how difficult it is to change the name of India in 4 points?

Is the name India a symbol of British slavery? This question remains in headlines in the India vs India dispute. Former cricketer Virender Sehwag’s comment has increased the importance of this question even more. Sehwag wrote in his post that we are Indians, India is a name given by the British. 

Recently the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) mouthpiece Panchjanya also pointed towards the negative historical connotations of the name India. In the editorial of July 27, Panchjanya wrote – The word India has no geographical meaning. Western invaders used it according to their own. 

How did the India vs India dispute begin?
In a meeting in Bengaluru, 26 parties including Congress, JDU, DMK named the opposition alliance as INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance). The ruling party BJP raised questions on this and called it arrogance instead of India. Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat also jumped into the controversy and asked people to speak India.

Meanwhile, an invitation letter issued from Rashtrapati Bhavan worked to add fuel to this controversy. President of India was written in the invitation letter issued regarding G-20. The Congress and opposition parties immediately raised the issue.

Opposition parties said that the government was playing with the constitution, while the ruling party only talked about using the already existing name. Rashtrapati Bhavan has not yet given any clarification on this.

Is the name India a symbol of British slavery?

Part-1: India of Indus Valley, Megasthenes and Columbus
According to history professor Mayank Shekhar Mishra, almost all historians agree that India is a word derived from the corruption of Sindhu. Just like the word Hindu. That’s why Indus Valley Civilization is also called Indus Valley Civilization.

200 BC The Graeco-Indian Empire was established, covering modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and various parts of northwestern India. 260 BC Greek ambassador Megasthenes wrote books called Indica. 

In this book, he has explained in detail about India and its civilizations. According to historians, the first and most accurate information about India comes from Megasthenes’ book Indica.

In Indica, Megasthenes has mentioned the culture, tradition and functioning of India. He came to India during Chandragupta’s reign. 

Mayank Shekhar Mishra says- Before the arrival of the British in India, foreigners knew India by the name of India. An example of this is the voyage of Columbus. Columbus went out in search of India, but he reached the Caribbean Islands. Columbus named it the West Indies, similar to India.

Part-2: India and India under British Rule
After entering India through the East India Company, in 1857 the British took the government directly in their hands. According to NCERT, by 1857, the British ruled 63 percent of India’s territory and 68 percent of its people. 

During the British rule, India expanded from South to Burma (now Myanmar). According to historian Ian J. Barrow, after taking over the administration of India, the British started referring to India in working language.

According to modern historians, the main objective of the British was to expand India and increase business activities. Hence started using the name India. 

Part-3: India and India in the Constituent Assembly 
On 18 September 1949 there was a debate on the name in the Constituent Assembly. HV Kamath proposed it. According to this, one name of the country will be ‘India that is Bharat’. According to Kamath, many linguists and historians are not unanimous on the name of the origin of India, hence there is a dispute over it.

(Map of Aryavarta. Source- University of Minnesota)

Aryavarta’s borders extended from the Indus River to Magadha, but his map does not include the kingdoms of the south. So much so that the Dravidians claim that they came to India before the Aryans, so they also consider themselves to be the original inhabitants.

This proposal of Kamath was accepted by the Constituent Assembly with a majority. 

How difficult it is to change the name, 4 points…

1. India is named under the constitutional powers. To amend this, the government needs a special majority. That is, the government will need a two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to pass it through the Parliament. The government currently does not have a two-thirds majority in the Rajya Sabha.

2. The Supreme Court has said in its historic decision that the government cannot amend the basic structure of the constitution. Experts say that the names Bharat and India were kept only to keep them united. If the name change destroys its original spirit, then it may become an issue of basic structure.

3. In 2016 and 2020, the issue of India and India has gone to the Supreme Court. Both times the court said that both India and Bharat cannot be considered separately. According to the court, suppressing the name of one cannot give importance to the other. If the matter of changing the name goes to the court again, then the government may be in trouble.

4. According to an estimate, if the government changes the name of India, then changes will have to be made at many places including the passport. 14,304 crore can be spent on changing the name, which is 6% of the country’s revenue. 

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