New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS): In the Amrit Kal of Independence, the Narendra Modi government has embarked on a mission to free the nation and its citizens from the mindset of slavery and every symbol associated with it. The government has also started preparations to remove the name 'India' from the country's Constitution.
As this news emerges, a new controversy has erupted in the country's politics.
The entire opposition, including the Congress, has started questioning the government's intentions, alleging that the government is afraid of their alliance's name 'I.N.D.I.A' and also accusing it of wanting to change the Constitution.
In response to the allegations by the opposition parties, the government and the BJP have launched a sharp counterattack. Several ministers, BJP leaders, and even some chief ministers have questioned why the opposition is so bothered by the name 'Bharat'?
In the midst of the India vs. Bharat controversy, the government has taken a significant step by starting to use 'Bharat' in official invitations and official foreign trips, where 'India' was conventionally used.
In a recent invitation letter to the G-20 Summit leaders on September 9, President Droupadi Murmu was addressed as 'President of Bharat.' This change was shared on social media by several ministers, including Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Following that, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Indonesia, his official documents stated 'The Prime Minister of Bharat, Narendra Modi,' which was shared on social media by the BJP's national spokesperson Sambit Patra.
Moreover, during the continuous attacks by the opposition parties, the way Union ministers and BJP leaders aggressively defended India's name, two things became abundantly clear.
Firstly, the government has made it clear that the name 'Bharat' is its priority, and it won't back down on this matter. Secondly, the government has sent a clear political message to the people that the opposition alliance has a problem with this name.
However, as controversies escalated during the foreign ministers' arrival for the G-20 summit, and concerns arose about the failure of major events like the G-20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally took charge.
On September 6, PM Modi chaired a meeting and advised all his ministers to focus on the G-20 summit and avoid engaging in debates about India vs. Bharat.
The credit for the government's decision to prioritise 'Bharat' as the country's name goes to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Just a few days before the government's decision became public, Mohan Bhagwat had appealed to the people to use the name 'Bharat' instead of 'India,' stating that the country has been called Bharat for centuries, not India, and therefore, we should use its old name.
The BJP is associated with the RSS ideologically, sometimes the BJP is also called the political wing of the RSS. Therefore, the statement of the RSS chief holds importance for the government.
To remove the name 'India' and use only the name 'Bharat' for the country, the government will need to amend Article 1 of the Constitution
However, for now the government has found a way out. Despite the existing phrase in the Constitution, "India, that is Bharat," the government has begun to prioritise the name 'Bharat' in the same way 'India' was conventionally used. This change was initiated with the proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill, which has sparked political turmoil.
PM Narendra Modi, in his speeches from the Red Fort, has talked about striving collectively for freedom from the mindset of slavery through small symbols. Under this mission, the government is undertaking numerous tasks, such as changing education policies, replacing symbols associated with slavery with names of Indian greats, and removing statues of figures associated with colonial rule.
In line with this mission, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during the Monsoon Session of Parliament on August 11, 2023, introduced three new bills - the Indian Legal Code Bill 2023, the Indian Citizen Security Act Bill 2023, and the Indian Evidence Act Bill 2023 - as replacements for the IPC, CrPC, and the Indian Evidence Act, which were enacted in 1860, 1898, and 1872, respectively.
The government has called a special session of Parliament from September 18 to 22, 2023, during the Amrit Kal lasting for five days.
While the official agenda of this special session has not been announced yet, it is expected to discuss India's successful hosting of the G-20 Summit, India's rising global stature, the historic achievement of Chandrayaan-3, and the mission and roadmap to make India a developed nation by 2047 during the Amrit Kal.
During this special session, it is possible that Bharat-related important proposals or bills may be presented by the government to eliminate any connection with slavery and to commemorate this historic period.