Modi pulls of a big stunt at G20 summit

Modi pulls of a big stunt at G20 summit

During the opening of the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nameplate referred to India as "Bharat," prompting speculation about a potential name change for the South Asian nation. India is commonly referred to as Bharat, Bharata, or Hindustan in Indian languages, and these names have been used interchangeably by the public and in official contexts.

While India traditionally uses "India" in titles such as president or prime minister when communicating in English, President Droupadi Murmu recently referred to herself as the "President of Bharat" in a G20 leaders' reception dinner invitation, sparking controversy.

As Modi inaugurated the summit in New Delhi, he sat behind a table with a nameplate reading "Bharat," while the G20 logo displayed both names - "Bharat" in Hindi and "India" in English. Similar placards have used "India" in the past. Speaking in Hindi, the language spoken by the majority of the population, Modi welcomed the delegates as "the President of the G20."

New Delhi is hosting leaders from major economies at a new $300 million convention center named Bharat Mandapam, located opposite a 16th-century stone fort. Supporters of the name "Bharat" argue that "India" was imposed by British colonizers, but historians note that the name predates colonial rule by centuries.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), has consistently advocated for calling the country Bharat. Modi's political rivals suggest that this change may be influenced by the newly formed opposition alliance, INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance), consisting of 28 parties, which aims to challenge the BJP in next year's parliamentary elections. The Prime Minister's Office did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.