GUWAHATI, Sept 6: Pitching for the name ‘Bharat’ once again, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday maintained that institutions like the Reserve Bank of India should be renamed.
He claimed that the word ‘India’ and practices associated with the British era are ‘colonial hangovers’ and the country is entering a ‘phase of renaissance’ during which these will be done away with.
“The name of the central bank should be ‘Reserve Bank of Bharat’. This is a phase of renaissance. Assam has changed several old legacies and many changes have been made in the Centre also,” Sarma said while addressing a press conference here.
He maintained that many practices introduced by the British rulers have been continuing in the country and those need to be changed.
“People have waited for 75 years for one Modi to come and root out this colonial hangover,” he said.
“How can Modi ji be blamed for something done by (Jawaharlal) Nehru?” he added, in an apparent reference to the use of the name ‘India’ and continuing with ‘colonial practices’.
Pointing that the Supreme Court had earlier ruled that the names India and Bharat can be used interchangeably, Sarma said, “Whether it is India or Bharat, I don’t think this is debatable. When Amit Shah placed the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita bills in Parliament, no one had made any objection.”
“Manmohan Singh had taken oath as the prime minister of Bharat, while HD Deve Gowda took as PM of India,” he added.
Sarma also dismissed Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s remark that it was Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah who had objected to the name ‘India’ since it implied that ‘our country was the successor state to British Raj and Pakistan a seceding state’.
“What Tharoor said was half-truth. What Jinnah said is not important. What is important for us is which name of sages and saints used, and it was not India but Bharat,” the BJP leader said.
On Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara’s question on the origin of Sanatan Dharma, Sarma said, “The word Sanatan itself has the answer. It means something which has no beginning and no end. It was in existence from eternity and will continue till infinitely.”
“The home minister of such a big state like Karnataka cannot understand such a simple thing, whereas someone like me from a small state can get it,” he quipped. (PTI)