Opposition bloc could call itself BHARAT too, says Shashi Tharoor

A file photo of Sashi Tharoor.

New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today 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”.

In a post on X, Mr 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).

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.

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”.

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