India v/s Bharat

“India is a great country. I am proud to be an Indian.”

These lines may convey strong patriotic feelings but ever thought why “Bharat” is not a great country and why we are not proud to be a “Bhartiya”?

Maybe the quest to do it in ‘western style’ had taken a big leap when our constitution was framed. The first sentence of our constitution says- “India that is Bharat”’ which clearly gives importance to the word India (given by the Britishers) rather that the word Bharat (this one is purely original).

Many people also have this misconception that our country did not have any particular name before the invaders arrived here. It is believed that the origin of the word Bharat dates back from the Vedic period, it is derived from the King Bharata from the Puru clan (the same from which originated the Pandavas). A proof of this can be seen in the sacred texts of the Vishnu Puran, Verse (2.3.1)-

“Uttaram yatsamudrasya himadresdrav dakshinam
Varsam tad bharatm nam bharti ytra santith”

This means- The country that lies north of the ocean and south of snowy mountains is called BHARATAM, there dwell the descendants of Bharata.

“Parathe swetha varaha kalpe vaivastha manvanthare
Ashta vimshathi tame kaliyuge
Prathane pathe jumbudwip Bhartha varshe
Bharatha khande meroho…”

This chant expands the meaning of Bharat as a subcontinent which comprises of today’s India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and some parts of Afghanistan, the name suggests the diversity in cultures, languages, styles but yet one entity.

The justification of not using the word Bharat is given on the basis of its current geographical location, stressing upon the fact that Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh are no more a part of India.

The origins of the word India is from Greek via Latin, literally meaning- region beyond the river Indus. Which is the last time I checked is currently Pakistan!

When the geographical correctness of the word India can be neglected, then why same can’t be done for the word Bharat? Even after knowing that the meaning of Bharat still describes our country’s diversity in culture. Or are we sticking to India just because it was given by Britishers?

I think it’s time we realize our individuality and dismiss the concept- “west is best”!

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