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Oppn bloc calling itself BHARAT might stop govt’s ‘fatuous game of changing names’: Tharoor

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NEW DELHI, Sept 6: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday took a swipe at the government
over the India-Bharat naming row, saying the opposition bloc could call itself the “Alliance for
Betterment, Harmony And Responsible Advancement for Tomorrow (BHARAT)” and then perhaps
the ruling party might stop the “fatuous game of changing names”.
His remarks came after invitations for a G20 dinner sent out by President Droupadi Murmu,
describing her position as ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the customary ‘President of India’,
triggered a massive furore on Tuesday with the opposition alleging that the Modi government is
planning to drop India and stay with just Bharat as the country’s name.
In a post on X, Tharoor said, “We could of course call ourselves the Alliance for Betterment,
Harmony And Responsible Advancement for Tomorrow (BHARAT). Then perhaps the ruling party
might stop this fatuous game of changing names.”
The Congress is a constituent of the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance
(INDIA).
On Tuesday, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh had on X said, “Mr. Modi can continue to
distort history and divide India, that is Bharat, that is a Union of States. But we will not be deterred.
After all, what is the objective of INDIA (alliance) parties? It is BHARAT—Bring Harmony, Amity,
Reconciliation And Trust. Judega BHARAT. Jeetega INDIA!”
Tharoor on Tuesday had said while there is no constitutional objection to calling India ‘Bharat’, he
hopes the government will not be so “foolish” to completely dispense with ‘India’ which has
“incalculable brand value”.
The Congress MP had also claimed 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 the British
Raj and Pakistan a seceding state”. (PTI)

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