It was Jinnah who objected to the name ‘India’: Tharoor hits out at BJP amid G20 invite row

New Delhi:¬†With G20 dinner invites being sent out in the name of ‘President of Bharat’, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said while there is no constitutional objection to calling India ‘Bharat’, he hopes the government will not be so “foolish” to completely dispense with ‘India’ which has “incalculable brand value”.

The Congress MP also claimed it was Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah who had objected to the name ‘India’ since it implied that “our country was the successor state to the British Raj and Pakistan a seceding state”.

Invitations for a G20 dinner have been sent out by President Droupadi Murmu describing her position as ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the customary ‘President of India’, triggering a massive furore with the opposition alleging that the Modi government is planning to drop India and stay with just Bharat as the country’s name.

In a post on X, Tharoor said ‘Bharat’ is one of the country’s two official names.

“While there is no constitutional objection to calling India ‘Bharat’, which is one of the country’s two official names, I hope the government will not be so foolish as to completely dispense with ‘India’, which has incalculable brand value built up over centuries,” the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram said.

“We should continue to use both words rather than relinquish our claim to a name redolent of history, a name that is recognised around the world,” he said.

In another post, Tharoor said, “While the subject is live, let’s recall that it was Jinnah who objected to the name ‘India’ since it implied that our country was the successor state to the British Raj and Pakistan a seceding state. As with CAA, the BJP govt keeps supporting Jinnah’s view!”

The G20 Summit will be held in the national capital from September 9 to 10 under India’s presidency and several heads of state from across the world, including US President Joe Biden, are set to attend the event.