Is Modi Changing India’s Name to Bharat? Jayati Ghosh on What’s Behind the Move


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As the G20 met in India this weekend, invitations to dinners during the G20 used the name Bharat instead of India. Bharat is a Sanskrit term which is already India’s second official name but is not widely used internationally. Economics professor Jayati Ghosh speculates Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to be moving toward the name Bharat as a “knee-jerk reaction” to a coalition of 26 opposition political parties called the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A.) ahead of 2024 elections. “It would be funny if it weren’t also so expensively ridiculous,” says Ghosh, who taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi for 35 years. “The immediate bringing in of this measure is really a panicky response to the fact that the opposition parties are coming together.”


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