NEW DELHI: G20 host Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nameplate read “Bharat,“ the Sanskrit or Hindi title of the South Asian country, rather than India, as he opened the G-20 summit in New Delhi on Saturday.
“Bharat welcomes the delegates as the President of the G20,“ Anadolu Agency quoted Modi as saying in Hindi.
Both terms, ‘Bharat’ and ‘India,‘ are officially used in the nation of 1.4 billion people. However, a row erupted on the issue this week when dinner invitations for the Group of 20 summit referred to Droupadi Murmu as the ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the President of India.
The move fueled a public debate over what the country should be called. While some support the name Bharat, and say that India was given by British colonizers, others argue the name predates colonial rule.
The opposition has also warned against changing the country’s name, saying the use of Bharat was a response to the formation of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, or the INDIA alliance.
In July, the leaders from 26 Indian opposition parties formed the alliance to unseat Modi in the 2024 general election.-Bernama