Article 1(1)- India, that is Bharat

First part of the Article 1(1) of the Constitution of India defines the name(s) of our nation: India and Bharat.

In the Draft Constitution submitted to the Constituent Assembly, the suggestion was only ‘India’. After elaborate discussions, the Constituent Assembly on 18th September 1949, added Bharat also.

On 15th November 1948, a member of the Constituent Assembly moved an amendment seeking to substitute the word ‘India’ the word ‘Bharat (India)’ and for the word ‘States’ the word’ Provinces’. Thereafter, the matter came up for discussion after an year later on 17th September 1949. Dr. BR Ambedkar moved an amendment seeking to change Article 1 (1) to ‘India, that is, Bharat shall be a Union of States.’

This amendment came up for discussion the following day. A member HV Kamath suggested a further change to Article 1(1): ‘(1) Bharat or, in the English language, India, shall be a Union of States.’ ” or “Hind, or, in the English language, India, shall be a Union of States.’” HV Kamath, who termed the discussion as Namakaran or a naming ceremony, said that suggestions have come that the country should be named as Bharat, Hindustan, Hind or Bharatbhumi or Bharatvarsh. Kamath concluded by stating that the construction of this clause “India, that is, Bharat” is a clumsy one.

Another member Maulana Hasrat Mohani suggested the name as ‘Union of Republics of India or Union of Socialist Republic of India’.

Seth Govind Das, though expressed his satisfaction to see the Country named as Bharat, said that he was unhappy with the expression ‘ “India, that is, Bharat”’. According to him it should have been “Bharat known as India also in foreign countries”“By naming our country as Bharat we are not doing anything which will prevent us from marching forward. We should indeed give such a name to our country as may be befitting our history and our culture. It is a matter of great pleasure that we are today naming our country as Bharat.”, he said.

We fought the battle of freedom under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi by raising the slogan of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. It is a matter for pleasure that we are going to do a correct thing today. But I would like to say that we are not doing it in a beautiful way. Why whatever way we may do it, our country is going to get the name of Bharat. I am confident that when our Constitution will be framed in the national language this name of Bharat will occupy its rightful place. I am very much pleased to note that whatever manner it may be, the name Bharat is being given to our country. I heartily congratulate the Constituent Assembly on it.”, he added. Members Kala Venkata Rao and BM Gupta and Shri Ram Sahai also spoke in support of the name ‘Bharat’.

Kamalapathi Tripathi said that it was more proper to use the words “Bharat, that is, India”, “I am enamoured of the historic name of “Bharat”. Even the mere uttering of this word, conjures before us by a stroke of magic the picture of cultured life of the centuries that have ,One by. In my opinion there is no other country in the world which has such a history, such a culture, and such a name, whose age is counted in milleniums as our country has. There is no country in the world which has been able to preserve its name and its genius even after undergoing the amount of repression, the insults and prolonged slavery which our country had to pass through. Even after thousands of years our country is still known as ‘Bharat’. Since Vedic times, this name has been appearing in our literature. Our Puranas have all through eulogised the name of Bharat. The gods have been remembering the name of this country in the heavens.”, he added.

As Tripathi continued to narrate the history and significance of the name ‘Bharat’, Dr. Ambedkar interrupted him and asked: Is this all necessary, Sir ? Tripathi then concluded by congratulating Dr. Ambedkar for including ‘Bharat’ as the name of the Country.

Har Govind Pant reminded the House that he had moved an amendment suggesting that the word “Bharat” or “Bharat Varsha” should be substituted in place of ‘India’. He expressed his reservation against naming the Country as India thus: “So far as the word ‘India’ is concerned, the Members seem to have, and really I fail to understand why, some attachment for it. We must know that this name was given to our country by foreigners who having heard of the riches of this land were tempted towards it and had robbed us of our freedom in order to acquire the wealth of our country. If we, even then, cling to the word ‘India’, it would only show that we are not ashamed of having this insulting word which has been imposed on us by alien rulers. Really, I do not understand why we are accepting this word.”

Finally, the Constituent assembly voted for Dr. Ambedkar’s amendment and named the Country as India, that is Bharat. Later, HV Kamath again raised another concern about this. According to him, a comma between the word ‘that is’ and Bharat would make it perfect. However, this suggestion also got rejected.

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