Will Bharat become the official name for India? Following the circulation of an invitation for a G20 dinner set for September 9, rumours are running rampant. The Opposition parties have lined up to target the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging that they (BJP) have changed 'President of India' to 'President of Bharat' due to the newly formed alliance I.N.D.I.A.
In an exclusive interview with Republic Media Network, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma clearing doubts spoke at length about topics ranging from India as Bharat row to Udhayanidhi Stalin's recent controversial Sanatan Dharma remark. Keeping the heat on the Opposition, the BJP leader also threw light on “Gandhi family’s hypocrisy on Hinduism.”
Addressing the fresh controversy around India as Bharat, Sarma said, “I don’t know why this debate is going on. Bharat is an operative word. For referring our country to the global world you can mention India. In 2016-2017 the Supreme Court also said that you can take any name. Primarily one should use Bharat. I don’t see any dispute on this matter.”
In response to Republic Network’s Senior Editor Shawan Sen on the government's intention for any resolution in the name change, the BJP leader said, “There’s no need to bring any resolution or amendment. India is a new name. Bharat has existed for more than 5000 years. People should come out of the colonial era.”
“If tomorrow you take the name of Mahatma Gandhi, will you become Mahatma Gandhi? Nothing lies in the name. Merits and demerits should be considered,” he added.
Further referring to how under the guidance of PM Modi, many contents of textbooks have been changed, Sarma launched a scathing attack on the Congress and said, “Congress has left a liking for Colonialism and that is reflected in the textbooks. Modi ji is correcting a lot of colonial baggage from textbooks, etc.”
Speaking on DMK leader Udhayanidhi’s controversial Sanatan Dharma remark, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “He should condemn, only then can he become eligible for Bharat.”
Hitting out at the Congress for the remarks, Sarma said, “Congress is fine when people speak against Hindus and Hinduism, but can’t digest anything against Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.”
“Congress should have come up with the statement that we should not annihilate any religion. But they are not doing that. Instead they are justifying it,” he added.
Terming the “Gandhi family” as “typical”, Sarma said, “They say that they are Kashmiri Brahmins, and before elections they will visit temples. And next day they will encourage their leaders along with their children to speak against Sanatan Dharma.”