Guwahati, Sep 6: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday reiterated his call for ‘Bharat’, arguing that institutions like the Reserve Bank of India should be given a new name. He also asserted that Indira Gandhi and Manmohan Singh had earlier taken oath as Prime Minister of Bharat.
He stated, "Whether it is India or Bharat, I don't think this is disputed. The Supreme Court has previously declared that the names India and Bharat can be used interchangeably. No one objected when Amit Shah introduced the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita legislation in Parliament.”
"Manmohan Singh had taken the oath as the prime minister of Bharat, while HD Deve Gowda took as PM of India. So far I remember, Indira Gandhi also took the oath as Bharat ka Pradhan Mantri, not as prime minister of India." Sarma said.
He asserted that the term "India" and customs from the British era are "colonial hangovers" and that the nation is about to enter a "phase of renaissance" during which they will be abandoned.
"Reserve Bank of Bharat' should be the name of the central bank. This is a renaissance era. Many changes have been implemented at the Centre as well as in Assam,” Sarma told reporters here. He claimed that numerous British-imposed customs still exist in the nation and that they must be changed.
“People have been waiting for one Modi to arrive and end this colonial hangover for 75 years,” the Chief Minister said. He continued, seemingly referring to the use of the term India and carrying on with colonial practices, “How can Modi ji be blamed for something done by (Jawaharlal) Nehru?”
Shashi Tharoor, a Congressman, said that Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah had objected to the name "India" because it meant that "our country was the successor state to British Raj and Pakistan a seceding state."
Sarma criticized this claim as untrue. "Tharoor only told half the truth. It is not significant what Jinnah stated. The name that the saints and sages used, which was Bharat rather than India, is what matters to us,” the Assam Chief Minister said.