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Foolish: Ex-law minister on renaming India as 'Bharat'

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
June 04, 2020 14:32 IST
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Senior Congress leader and former Union law minister M Veerappa Moily on Thursday dubbed the idea of renaming India as 'Bharat' or 'Hindustan' as "foolish" and one with "nuisance value."

Karnataka BJP too said such a proposal is "neither the wish nor the will" of the party.

The renaming suggestion also earned a thumbs down from former Solicitor General of India and retired Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde, who cautioned that the move may give rise to unwanted misunderstanding "within other groups" in the country.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed that a plea, seeking direction to the Centre to amend the Constitution and replace the word India with "Bharat" or "Hindustan," be treated as a representation by the authority concerned.

"The present petition is directed to be treated as a representation and may be considered by the appropriate ministries," a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said in its order.

The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, disposed of the plea which claimed that such an amendment will "ensure the citizens of this country get over the colonial past".

The plea, filed by a Delhi-based man, has contended that replacing the word India with "Bharat" or "Hindustan" will "instill a sense of pride in our own nationality".


"Foolish," Moily, a former Karnataka chief minister, told P T I when asked for his views on renaming. "Why unnecessarily? We have already lived through our democracy for so many years. People definitely have sentimental values for present name. It (the renaming idea) only has nuisance value."

He said architects of India's Constitution have found 'India' to be as "the most suitable name with sentiments attached to it," adding, renaming will not solve the problems that India is facing.

Hegde, a former Karnataka Lokayukta, said he is not in favour of name change. "Now merely because of some sentiments, changing the name for me doesn't look correct."

"There is no constitutional, legal right for anybody to ask for a change. Obviously, that is why Supreme Court has sent it as a representation to the Government. Of course, government may have the power. But the question is what is it that you gain from it, except some emotional benefit with some people. It may even give rise to unwanted misunderstanding within other groups in the country also," Hegde said.

G Madhusudana, a spokesperson for Karnataka BJP, said renaming India is a "very old demand of many of the citizens" of this country.

"This word Hindustan is quite old. In fact this word Hindustan has got roots in 'Vishnupuran', this country is called Hindustan since many thousand years. Britishers could not pronounce, that's why it became India. This has been there in everybody's mind," Madhusudana said.

"It (renaming) is neither the wish nor will of the BJP. The BJP is not serious about these things at all when we are fighting COVID-19, unemployment, world crisis, GDP and economy. This is not a priority for BJP at all. BJP has not resolved to take up this issue in any forum," he added.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.