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“Bharat: The Name on Modi’s Table at G20”

 

During his opening remarks at the G20 Summit on Saturday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharat country tag at his table caught people's attention.
During his opening remarks at the G20 Summit on Saturday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharat country tag at his table caught people’s attention.
Specially created for the summit, the 24-page magazine “Bharat: The Mother of Democracy” was given away free to attendees and the media.

During his opening remarks at the G20 Summit on Saturday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Bharat” country tag at his table caught people’s attention. Days after President Droupadi Murmu sent an invitation for a banquet as part of the global event in the name of the “President of Bharat,” Modi unambiguously endorsed the nation’s name.

Interestingly, the glossy 24-page magazine “Bharat: The Mother of Democracy,” which is quickly selling out from the bookshelves at the G20 Summit venue’s Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan, explains its title on page two: “Bharat is the official name of the country. It is stated in the Constitution as well as in the deliberations that took place in 1946–1948 before the charter was adopted.

The latest and most obvious indication that the name, which is currently used interchangeably with India, albeit primarily in a domestic context, will now be the name the country wants to be known by in the international context is the use of Bharat as “the official name of the country” in a magazine distributed among G20 foreign delegates and journalists from both the country and abroad.

India may have been the name used to assume the G20 presidency, but Bharat was the name used to declare the adoption of the Delhi Declaration at 3.30 p.m. on Saturday, September 9.

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The magazine, which is published by the Union government and was created especially for the summit, will be given away free to journalists and delegates. The glossy refers to the beginning of the Indian civilization as the “Sindhu-Saraswati civilization: 6000 BCE – 2000 BCE,” which history books both in India and abroad refer to as the “Indus Valley Civilisation,” under the header on Page 2 titled “Democratic Ethos in Bharat Over Thousands of Years.”

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are further identified as occurring “Beyond 2000 BCE” and “Beyond 1100 BCE,” respectively, in the introduction, demonstrating that they were actual eras and not fictitious ones that had been embellished over a thousand years of oral and recorded traditions in Indian folk and religious narratives.

It also alludes to Fa Hsien, a Chinese monk who visited India in the fifth century CE. In addition to referencing Megasthenes (the Greek explorer), the magazine also mentions Mahajanapada and Gantantra (7th and 8th century BCE), Buddhism (since 500 BCE), and Jainism (since 650 BCE), as well as Kautiliya and his political treatise, Arthashastra.

The only reference to a Muslim ruler is made under the heading “The Understanding Monarch” after the Vijayanagar Empire in southern India, which ruled from the 14th to the 16th century. “Good government should prioritize everyone’s wellbeing, regardless of their religious affiliation. The third Mughal Padishah Akbar practiced that form of democracy, according to the journal, which also notes that his “democratic thinking was unusual and way ahead of its time.”

The magazine concludes by referencing the years between 1952 and 2023, during which time all of the nation’s prime ministers and the “peaceful transfers of power” are noted.

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