Patna, Sep 10 (IANS): With the Lok Sabha elections approaching in 2024 both the opposition and the ruling dispensation at the Centre are unrolling different narratives to achieve their goal of victory.
One such point of discussion is the name of the country with the ruling NDA stressing on Bharat and the opposition parties saying India, that is Bharat.
The opposition leaders in Bihar believe that this is a tactical ploy of the BJP to divert attention from the real issues.
Shivanand Tiwari, national vice president of the RJD said: “The discussion on India and Bharat is quite old. It comes from the Mahabharata period and started from Bharat, then became Bharatvarsh and now Bharat. A common man would say that it has a long history so why not go for Bharat instead of India. People are saying that the name of our country India was given by the British but many people believe that this name was there since the time of Alexander. The BJP has a clear view to utilize this issue to hide the real issues. The discussion on Bharat vs India is similar to the Sanatan Dharma issue."
“The Narendra Modi government has not done anything in the last nine and a half years for the common people. The situation in BJP ruled Manipur is the worst at the moment. Human rights violations are taking place. The Assam Rifles were deployed there. If any incident takes place in non BJP ruled states like Bihar, West Bengal or Jharkhand, they are made into big issues. The violence in Manipur reached such a massive level only due to the communal agenda of the BJP and it has not been resolved till now,” Tiwari said.
The arguments over Bharat and India started after the Bengaluru meeting of the opposition parties where they announced their alliance called the Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance (INDIA). Since, the country's name is also India and it is mentioned in the Constitution as well, India that is Bharat, the BJP leaders felt uncomfortable with it. The BJP leaders especially RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat advocated for Bharat. BJP senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi claimed that when he used the word India, it felt like he was still a slave of the British.
“The leaders of the BJP claimed that India's name was given by the British rulers but I want to say that they have no knowledge of history. During the time of Alexander, his general Megasthenes wrote a book named India. Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama had discovered India and BJP leaders are saying the Britishers gave the name India. All these exercises are taking place only to divert attention from the real issues like inflation, price rise of commodities, jobs,” said Neeraj Kumar, JD-U MLC and chief spokesperson of the party.
Sharawan Kumar, the rural development minister of Bihar said: “The Narendra Modi government is trying to change the Constitution of the country. They are advocating for Bharat at the moment and denying India. What happened in the last two months for such a turnaround? They were chanting 'Jitega India' and waving both their hands in the air. What happened now? Our leaders of INDIA including Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar have an apprehension that they will change the Constitution.”
Another Bihar minister Jayant Raj stated: “The BJP is a party which believes in changing names. They have changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj, Mugalsarai to Deen Dayal Upadhyay, 7 Race Course in Delhi to Lok Kalyan Marg etc. I want to ask them to change their own party's name. Nothing will happen by changing the name. The BJP will face a whitewash in the 2024 Lok Sabha poll. "