‘Bharat – It’s There in Constitution’: Jaishankar Amid ‘India Name Change’ Row – News18

Defending Centre over Opposition’s dig that the government is trying to rebrand the nation, in an interview to news agency ANI, Jaishankar said the word “Bharat” is mentioned in the constitution.

The entire controversy began with Rashtrapati Bhawan sending out invitations for a G20 dinner on September 9 on behalf of ‘President of Bharat’.

During the interview, Jaishankar said that the connotation of the word ‘Bharat’ is also reflected in the Constitution.

“India, that is Bharat, is there in the Constitution. Please, I would invite everybody to read it,” Jaishankar to the newsagency.

The minister was inquired about the response from opposition parties and whether the government intends to rebrand India as “Bharat” in alignment with the G20 summit.

“Look, when you say Bharat in a sense, a meaning and understanding and a connotation that comes with it and that is reflected in our Constitution as well,” Jaishankar was quoted as saying to ANI.

Opposition parties have claimed that the government’s actions are merely a theatrical display, prompted by the opposition bloc’s decision to collectively refer to themselves as INDIA. Meanwhile, BJP leaders have firmly endorsed the government’s stance.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan shared a photo of the dinner invitation he received from the President on ‘X’ and included a few lines from the national anthem in his post.

“This should have happened earlier. This gives great satisfaction to the mind. ‘Bharat’ is our introduction. We are proud of it. The President has given priority to ‘Bharat’. This is the biggest statement to come out of the colonial mindset,” the minister told ANI.

‘India Has Reputation for Being Very Constructive Player’

When asked if the Global South countries see India as a credible voice, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said no other G20 presidency has made an effort to get together the developing countries that are not on the table.

“There have been G20 Summits before, no other G20 presidency has made an effort to get together the developing countries who are not on the table and say-please come, sit with us, tell us what are your concerns and we will distil those concerns and place them before the G20,” Jaishankar said.

“So, if we have taken the trouble and we mean Prime Minister Modi himself. Outside the G20, India has a reputation for being a very constructive player. Someone who bridges, divides, who kind of somewhere helps to fix problems,” Jaishankar added.

Jaishankar said “there is a lot of goodwill” that India has. Jaishankar exuded confidence that “everyone of the G20 coming to Delhi will understand the responsibility that they bear and will understand today that the other 180 countries of the world are looking to them to set directions and that they cannot afford to fail them.”

Jaishankar on Xi, Putin Skipping G20 Summit in India

On the Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping not attending the G20 Summit in Delhi , EAM Dr S Jaishankar said many presidents and Prime Ministers have chosen not to come themselves for whatever reason.

“But that country and its position is reflected by whoever is the representative on that occasion…I think everybody is coming with a great deal of seriousness…,” Jaishankar said in the interview to news agency ANI.

Speaking about Opposition’s criticism of the government putting up elaborate arrangements for G20 Summit, EAM Jaishankar said, “If somebody felt that they were most comfortable in Lutyens’ Delhi or completely comfortable in Vigyan Bhawan – that is their prerogative. That was their world”.

“So, yes you have had Summit meetings where the impact of the country probably went two kilometres, on a good day, out of Vigyan Bhawan. This is a different government. It’s a different era. It’s a different thought process,” Jaishankar added.

PM felt that and all of us have worked in that direction that the G20 is something that should be treated as a national endeavour, that different parts of India must have a sense of participation and that this is something which has been truly non-partisan, Jaishankar said, adding that “for those who feel that we should be stuck in 1983, you are welcome to be stuck in 1983. I am sorry the country has moved on, we are in 2023.”

Jaishankar on Biden’s Visit

On the bilateral level going to be on the table and the agenda during Biden’s visit, Jaishankar said US President’s visit this would give an occasion for the leaders to take stock of the things India and US agreed upon in June this year when PM Modi went on a State Visit.

“Well, we have had a very strong state visit by Prime Minister Modi to the United States. Strong in terms of the outcomes and the results of that visit. Both systems, the Indian system and the American system are busy working through and trying to implement a lot of what was agreed to in June this year. So, I think this would give an occasion for the leaders to take stock,” Jaishankar said

What Jaishankar Said On Upcoming G20 Summit in Delhi

Amid massive preparations underway in Delhi for the mega G20 summit for which top leaders are flying in to the national capital over the upcoming weekend, Jaishankar said “this is like the home stretch”.

“…This is like the home stretch, everything is getting ready. The negotiators are negotiating, and the people who are trying to get the arrangements done are working at it. It is really a very focused time for us,” EAM Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar said he feels it is important that people have a sense of what is going on, adding that his reading right now of the G20 is that “there are a whole lot of issues”.

“Some are longer-term structural issues, and some are more emergent. There is a mix of issues that the world is looking at and the burden is on the Global South and on developing countries,” Jaishankar said.

The external affairs minister added that one very important message for us is to “focus on the Global South”.

But there is a larger context, he said and added that the context is of a very turbulent global environment, the impact of Covid, impact of the Ukraine conflict, issues like debt which have carried on for some time and climate disruptions which are today affecting the economy as well.

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