common law
Image source: https://rb.gy/2ojknn

This article is written by Lavanya Gupta, pursuing BBA LLB(H) from the school of Law, Ansal University. It is an exhaustive article which deals with various modes of execution under the Supreme Court to Change India’s Name to Bharat.

Introduction

The plea was dismissed on Wednesday that seeks in the change of the country’s name to Bharat or Hindustan but not India and the petitioner approached the government with the demand of the same. The three-judge bench was led by CJI SA Bobde who sought to know from the petitioner, Namah, the resident of Delhi, and why he moved to the court when the name of India is Bharat already in the Constitution. The lawyer Ashwin Vaish represented the petitioner and argued with the term India which was derived from the Persian origin and the foreign word. The constituent assembly was pointed out by the CJI and debate was shown at length before the call was taken on the inserting of ‘India as Bharat’ in the Constitution. The court dismissed the plea and asked the petitioner to submit his petition and was represented to the home and the Parliamentary affairs of the ministries. 

Details of the plea

In this plea, the petitioner: Namah, has sought enforcement of the fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which states that every person or citizen has equal right to call his or her own country as ‘Bharat’. The Union Government was contented by him and has failed to do with the symbol of slavery by using the name ‘India’ instead of using ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hindustan’. Many pleas were also pointed out by him in which the same has sought with the government’s inaction and to do so with the justification of his reason and reaction to approach the Apex Court which was reported by the State.

Reason for filing of petition

The name of India is from foreign origin as according to the petitioner. The Greece language “Indica” was traced back by the name of our country ‘India’. On the other hand, the name Bharat is closely associated with the freedom struggle and the cry “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. Changing the name will make sure that the citizens will get over the colonial past. The court amends Article 1 of the Indian Constitution regarding the case which was submitted by the petitioner. The petition demands to strike off ‘India’ from the Article. 

Article 1 

Article 1 of the Indian Constitution states that India which is named as Bharat shall be the Union of States. The territory of India consists of the State territories, the territories of Union, and any other territories that could be acquired. Indignity and rights, all human beings were born free and equal. They should act towards one another in the spirit of brotherhood with endowed reason and conscience. India as a republic described as the Union but not the federation. 

The draft constitution prepared by the constitutional advisor in choosing the word “Union” instead of taking the word “Federation” in preference the makers of the Constitution has some purpose. The word “Union” is the better expression as a viewer with the fact that the Union of India was not the outcome among the existing States as an agreement and therefore, this was not open to any such kind of State or the Group of States from the Union to secede or to vary the States boundaries on their own free will. Dr B. R Ambedkar as the drafting committee member said this. 

Role of Article 12

In this part of the Constitution, the definition is the unless context which requires otherwise and includes the State’s Government and Parliament of India and the Legislature with the Government of every State and every local or other authorities within Indian territory under the control of the Indian Government. The control of the Government was not necessarily in the body that must be under the directions of absolute government and this states under Article 12. 

It merely means that the government must have some form of control over the functioning of the body. The statutory body does not mean that it was “State” just because of the context of the body. The following components were the state The Government of India or the Central government and the Parliament of India that is the houses of Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in Article 12 of the Indian Constitution. Local Authorities like municipalities, panchayat, port trusts, etc. 

Role of Article 21

No person shall be deprived of his life as per the protection of life and personal liberty except the procedure was established according to the law. The phraseology of Article 21 was a negative word but this word has not been used to the deprived word. The fundamental right under Article 21 has the object which prevents the encroachment on personal liberty and life was deprived according to the procedure which was established by the law. The fundamental right means that the right has been provided against the State only. The act of a private individual was encroached by the amount of personal liberty or life of some other person would deprive. The violations did not fall under the set parameters of Article 21. The remedy for the aggrieved person in such cases would be either under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution or under the general law. 

The state infringes the private individual in the act of personal liberty or another person’s life and this act certainly came under the ambit of Article 21. The dealing of Article 21 with the prevention of encroachment upon personal liberty. Restricted sense cannot be defined under the State. Department of governments, legislatures, administrations, exercising of local authorities, powers of statutory bodies, and so on were included but this excludes the non-statutory or private bodies that have no power of the statutory body. The fundamental rights were guaranteed under Article 21 which relates the only acts of State or the acts under the State authority not according to the established procedure of the law. Deprived life of a person or personal liberty by the State which was established by the law was the main object to be followed strictly under Article 21. 

Facts of the case

The petitioner argued regarding the name ‘India’ was the derivation from the Greek word ‘Indica’ and said that the exclusion of ‘India’ was sought of change in the name. On Wednesday the Supreme Court refused to entertain the filed petition regarding the change of name from India to Bharat with the representation and allowing it to be treated as the concerned Union ministries. SA Bobde, the bench of Chief Justice of India with Justice AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy were asked by the petitioner’s counsel what was the reason for approaching the court when the Constitution of India says that India can also be called Bharat. The petitioner’s counsel argued that the derivation of the name India was from the Greek word ‘Indica’ and the change in name was the sought of exclusion of ‘India’.

When the court imitated the disinclination of the petitioner to entertain the petition then the counsel urged to allow the treated representation before the concerned ministry and this was allowed by the court. The time had come to recognize the country by her original and authentic name stated by the petition which is ‘Bharat’. The considerations were in many cities within the country that see the change in name to identify with the ethos of ‘India’. It is pertinent to ensure the citizens of the country according to the petitioner in the change of name to get over the colonial past. 

He also added that the removal of the English names may be symbolic and that will instil a sense of pride in our nationality. Petitioner said that the replacement of the word INDIA with BHARAT would only justify the hard-fought freedom by the ancestors. The petitioner also claimed that it is the duty of the government which is ‘State’ under Article 12 to amend Article 1 towards its citizens in the changing of the country’s name. The petitioner also invoked that the fundamental right under Article 21 states that every person or citizen has an equal right to call his/her country by the name BHARAT. 

Change into the authentic name

The plea was filed by the farmer of Delhi based to seek the change in the name of the country from India to its “Authentic Name“ Bharat or Hindustan and was referred by the top court in front of the government. The Apex Court appeared to get fit in the case by allowing the petitioner’s concern which was considered by the Ministry of Home Affairs as per the representation. To get over the colonial past the petitioner argued to change the name will help the country. The name “INDIA” was symbolic to the English rulers as it was argued by the plea and this shows the symbol of slavery and the relic of British raj in the country.

The change in name would instil a sense of pride in our nationality as per the plea. An amendment was sought by the PIL under Article 1 of the Indian Constitution. India which is Bharat also should be a Union State as currently stated in Article 1. They hope to change the name of India into Bharat/Hindustan as a Union State according to the PIL. The plea also argued that as many cities’ names were also changed so now it is the time to “ripe” the recognized country by its “original and authentic mane” which is Bharat/ Hindustan. According to the stated plea, many generations changed their name and has pride in the mindsets of the citizens.

Supreme Court to reject the plea for renaming India

On 12th March 2016, as per the reports, the Supreme Court had dismissed the petition seeking the renaming of India as Bharat. The absurdity of the plea was reacted by the bench of Justices TS Thakur and UU Lalit and asked what do they think to have no other work except the dealing of emotional issues. The petitioner- Niranjan Bhatwal further admonished the Maharashtra-based social activist stating that the help of the poor was the jurisdiction of PIL. If they want to call it Bharat then they can do so. According to the reports, nobody was stopping anybody.

The Supreme Court bench before this order was led by the Chief Justice HL Datta who sought the responses of the Centre, States, and Union territories on the PIL of Bhatwal in April 2016 according to the State reports. He also argued that the Constituent Assembly has the original concept and adopted Bharat as the official name. India that is always Bharat should be the Union of States which was used in Article 1 of the Constitution of India and this phrase was also sought by Mr Bhatwal.

The statement was made by him in his petition that the word ‘India’ was not a literal translation of the word ‘Bharat’. Both historical and scriptures were beside the country which was known as ‘Bharat’. The phrase stated that India is Bharat and should be the Union of States which codified the name Bharat as the Republic of India. The petitioner moved to the Supreme Court when he did not get the response from the Centre on this matter. 

Conclusion

The plea was dismissed seeking the change of the country’s name to Bharat or Hindustan but not India and the petitioner approached the government with the demand of the same. In this plea, the petitioner: Namah, has sought enforcement of the fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which states that every person or citizen has equal right to call his or her own country as ‘Bharat’. The Supreme Court bench before this order was led by the Chief Justice HL Datta who sought the responses of the Centre, States, and Union territories on the PIL of Bhatwal in April 2016 according to the State reports. The statement was made by him in his petition that the word ‘India’ was not a literal translation of the word ‘Bharat’. The name “INDIA” was symbolic to the English rulers as it was argued by the plea and this shows the symbol of slavery and the relic of British raj in the country. The petitioner also invoked that the fundamental right under Article 21 states that every person or citizen has an equal right to call his/her country by the name Bharat. 

References


LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join:

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content.

Did you find this blog post helpful? Subscribe so that you never miss another post! Just complete this form…

LEAVE A REPLY