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The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a petition filed for changing the name of India to Bharat, while allowing it to be treated as a representation before the concerned Union ministries.
[Namah vs UOI (Name change from India to Bharat PIL)]
[Namah vs UOI - Supreme Court Order]
The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde with Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy asked the petitioner's counsel why he had approached the Court, since the Constitution itself says that India is also called Bharat.
Counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Aswin Vaish, argued that the name 'India' was derived from the Greek word "Indica", and said that the change in name was sought to the exclusion of "India".
When the Court intimated its disinclination to entertain the petition, counsel urged for allowing the petition to be treated as representation before the concerned Ministry, which was allowed by the Court.
The petition had stated that the time had come to recognize the country by her "original and authentic name", which is "Bharat", particularly considering that many cities within the country have seen a name change to identify with the "Indian" ethos.
This name change, according to the petitioner, is pertinent to ensure that the citizens of the country get over the colonial past. The removal of English names may be symbolic, he says, adding that it will "instill a sense of pride in our own nationality."
It is also the claim of the petitioner that it is the duty of the government, which is "State" under the purview of Article 12, towards its citizens to amend Article 1 to change the country's name. Further, the fundamental right under Article 21 which "entitles every citizen the equal right to call his/her own country BHARAT", is also invoked by the petitioner.
The petition was filed through Advocate Raj Kishor Choudhary.