WATCH: 'Namaste from Bharat' - S Jaishankar opens, ends his UN speech with 'Bharat' mention
The article discusses Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar's use of the term 'Bharat' in his United Nations General Assembly speech, reigniting the debate over its potential replacement for 'India' in the Constitution and its recent controversies.
Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar's address at the United Nations General Assembly sparked significant attention due to his use of the term 'Bharat' in his speech. He commenced by extending greetings with a traditional Indian gesture, stating, "Namaste from Bharat," and concluded by emphasizing, "It is this fusion (tradition and technology) that today defines India, that is Bharat."
The speech has reignited discussions about the potential replacement of the term 'India' with 'Bharat' in the Constitution, a contentious issue that recently stirred controversy.
Jaishankar delivered his address from the iconic green UN podium, symbolizing unity and diplomacy, commencing his speech with a respectful "Namaste from Bharat."
He underscored India's unique identity as a civilization that seamlessly combines tradition and technology, asserting, "As a civilisational polity that embraces modernity, we bring both tradition and technology equally confidently to the table. It is this fusion that today defines India, that is Bharat," marking the conclusion of his speech.
The controversy surrounding the use of 'India' versus 'Bharat' escalated when invitations for the G20 dinner were sent out in the name of the President of 'Bharat,' rather than 'India.' This incident was exemplified when Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan shared an image of the dinner invite on social media and quoted lines from the national anthem.
Even the nameplate in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the opening of the G20 Summit prominently displayed "Bharat."
Furthermore, the G20 booklet intended for foreign delegates bore the title "Bharat, The Mother Of Democracy," emphasizing the official name of the country and its historical significance. It is worth noting that the name 'Bharat' is explicitly mentioned in the Constitution and has historical roots dating back to discussions in 1946-48.
Opposition parties raised objections, accusing the government of engaging in political theatrics, especially in light of their collective identity as 'INDIA.'
Jaishankar, in response, subtly criticized the Opposition's stance on the issue, reminding everyone that "India that is Bharat" is clearly stated in the Constitution and urged all to read it. He highlighted that 'Bharat' carries a distinct meaning and connotation reflected not only in tradition but also in the country's foundational legal document.
Meanwhile, during his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday evening, S Jaishankar emphasized that a response to terrorism or extremism should not be based on "political convenience." India called upon the global community to uphold the rules-based order and adhere to the UN Charter. Additionally, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar urged nations to refrain from meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. The External Affairs Minister's statements, made in the backdrop of the India-Canada diplomatic dispute and ongoing border tensions with China, have been seen as indirect references to both situations.
"... nor must we countenance that political convenience determines responses to terrorism, extremism and violence. Similarly, respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs cannot be exercises in cherry-picking. When reality departs from the rhetoric, we must have the courage to call it out... without genuine solidarity, there can never be real trust," he said.