Seventy years after the Indian Constitution came into force, yet another PIL has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking to replace the name of the country ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hindustan’, citing that it will ‘instill a sense of pride in our own nationality’.
The apex court is set to hear the plea on 2nd June, which sought a direction to the government to take appropriate steps to amend Article 1 of the Indian Constitution, which deals with name and territory of the Union, to the effect that ‘the same refers to the country as Bharat/Hindustan, in the exclusion of India’.
The PIL filed by one Namaha, a Delhi-based man, contended that such an amendment would “ensure the citizens of this country to get over the colonial past”.
“The removal of the English name though appears symbolic will instill a sense of pride in our own nationality, especially for the future generations to come. In fact, the word India being replaced with Bharat would justify the hard-fought freedom by our ancestors,” stated the plea. Further, while referring to the 1948 Constituent assembly debate on Article 1 of the then draft constitution, the plea contended that even during that time there was a ‘strong wave’ in favor of naming the country as ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hindustan’.
“However, now the time is ripe to recognize the country by its original and authentic name i.e. Bharat especially when our cities have been renamed to identify with the Indian ethos,” read the plea.
Although the plea was initially listed on Friday, however, it could not be taken up, as the Chief Justice of India S A Bobde was not available. Subsequently, a notice was uploaded on the apex court’s website, listing the matter for hearing on 2nd June before the bench comprising of CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna, and Hrishikesh Roy.
This is not the first instance wherein such a petition seeking a change of the country’s name from ‘India’ to ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hindustan’ has been filed. As per reports, earlier on 12th March 2016, the then CJI Justice TS Thakur led bench of SC had rejected a similar plea while lashing out, “Do you think we have no other work except dealing with emotional issues?”. Nonetheless, as per reports, the SC had further admonished a petitioner Niranjan Bhatwal, a Maharashtra-based social activist stating, “Help the poor through the PIL jurisdiction. If you want to call it Bharat, do so. Nobody is stopping you.”