Plea for renaming India as 'Bharat' be treated as representation, says SC

New Delhi, Jun 3 (PTI) The Supreme Court Wednesday directed that a plea, seeking direction to the Centre to amend the Constitution and replace the word India with 'Bharat' or 'Hindustan', be treated as a representation by the authority concerned.

'The present petition is directed to be treated as a representation and may be considered by the appropriate ministries,' a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said in its order.

The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, disposed of the plea which claimed that such an amendment will 'ensure the citizens of this country get over the colonial past'.

The plea, filed by a Delhi-based man, has contended that replacing the word India with 'Bharat' or 'Hindustan' will 'instill a sense of pride in our own nationality'.

'Why have you come here?', the bench asked the petitioner's counsel, while observing that the court cannot pass such direction.

While hearing the matter through video-conferencing, the bench told the petitioner's counsel that India is already called 'Bharat' in the Constitution itself.

The counsel said the plea has sought to amend Article 1 of the Constitution, which deals with name and territory of the Union.

The petitioner's counsel said that he should be allowed to make a representation in this regard to the concerned authority.

The plea has sought to amend Article 1 of the Constitution to the effect that the same refers to the country as Bharat/Hindustan, to the exclusion of India'.

'The removal of the English name though appears symbolic, will instill a sense of pride in our own nationality, especially for the future generations to come. In fact, the word India being replaced with Bharat would justify the hard fought freedom by our ancestors,' the plea claimed.

Referring to the 1948 Constituent assembly debate on Article 1 of the then draft constitution, the plea has said even at that time there was a 'strong wave' in favour of naming the country as 'Bharat' or 'Hindustan'.

'However, now the time is ripe to recognize the country by its original and authentic name i.e. Bharat especially when our cities have been renamed to identify with the Indian ethos,' it said. PTI ABA MNL SJK SA