‘Change in name of ‘Republic of India’ will require several amendments in Constitution’

New Delhi: ‘India, that is Bharat’ written in Article 1 of the Constitution is only descriptive and the two cannot be used interchangeably, constitutional expert P D T Achary said on Tuesday and underlined that any change in name from Republic of India will require several amendments.

His remarks come after a G20 dinner invitation, issued in the name of ‘President of Bharat’, triggered a massive debate over the name of the country with the opposition alleging that the government is planning to drop India and stay with just Bharat.

Asked about what it would take to bring about changes in the current position on the name of the country, former Lok Sabha secretary general Achary said, “They will have to amend the Constitution. Article 1 (will have to be changed) and then there will be resultant changes in all the other articles.”

“Wherever India is used will have to go. You can have only one name for the country. There cannot be two names interchangeable, that will create a lot of confusion not only in India but outside also,” he told PTI.

In the UN, India’s name is Republic of India, and tomorrow if it has to be written as Republic of Bharat then the Constitution has to be amended and communication has to be sent to all the relevant countries, saying that “our name has been changed”, he said.

“That change has to be brought about by an amendment in the Constitution, otherwise India’s name is India only. India that is Bharat written in Article 1 is only descriptive, it is not that these two are interchangeable. It will be suicidal to use them interchangeably. There is only one name for one country,” Achary said.

Amid speculation that the name change issue could come up during the five-day special session of Parliament beginning September 18, several opposition leaders shared Article 1 that states that “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States” and also the provision that refers to the country’s president as “President of India”.

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