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The history behind India being officially known as ‘Bharat’

The many perceptions behind India being named as Bharat

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By Shubhi Mangla

India the land of different cultures, religions, languages and beliefs has a very colorful and rich history. Being one of the oldest civilizations in the world, India has two principal short names both in the official and English language i.e. India and Bharat. The name ‘India’ is derived from the river Indus or Sindhu River and has been widely used in Greek since Herodotus and in English in the 17th century.

Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution states that, “India that is Bharat shall be a Union of States”. The name Bharat has been given to India by its founding fathers. However, there are some specific reasons as to why India is officially called Bharat. Many of us are unaware of the theories that relate to India coming to be called so.

 The term ‘Bharat’

The name Bharat has originated from the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit.

  • Bharat is a derivation of the Sanskrit word Bharata which stands for ‘Agni’ meaning fire. The term is a verbal noun of the Sanskrit root ‘bhr’ meaning to carry with a literal meaning of ‘to be maintained’ (of fire),
  • The term Bharata also means ‘one who is in search of knowledge’
  • According to sterlingholidays.comBharata is the official Sanskrit name of the country, Bharata Ganarajya, and the name is derived from the ancient Indian texts, the Puranas, which refers to the land that comprises India as Bharata varsam, and uses this term to distinguish it from other varsas or continents’

Related: How Indian laws define the term ‘Hindu’

Emperor Bharata Chakravarti and Mahabharata

King Bharata killed a lion as a young kid all by himself Source: Wikimedia commons
King Bharata killed a lion as a young kid all by himself
Source: Wikimedia commons

According to Gita, India came to be known as ‘Bharatvarsha’ after the emperor Bharata Chakravarti who was the son of King Dushyanta of Hastinapura and Queen Shakuntala. Thus, a descendant of the Lunar dynasty of Kshatriya Varna. Bharata was known to be a brave king who went to conquer the whole of Indian empire which came to be named after him as ‘Bharatvarsha’ meaning land of Bharata. In the epic Mahabharata, India was mentioned as Bharatvarsha by Lord Krishna and this huge Bharata Empire not only included the modern day India but also parts of other countries like Russia, Iran, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.

‘Bharat’ in Puranas

Purana Manuscripts from 15th- to 18th-century Source: Wikimedia commons
Purana Manuscripts from 15th- to 18th-century
Source: Wikimedia commons

The term Bharat has been used in ancient Indian texts and Puranas. India has been mentioned as Bharatvarsha in Vishnu Purana, Vayu Purana, Linga Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Agni Purana, Skanda Purana, Khanda and Markandaya Purana.  A version of the Bagavatha Purana says, the name Bharatha is after Jata Bharatha who appears in the fifth canto of the Bagavatha.

This country is known as Bharatavarsha since the times the father entrusted the kingdom to the son Bharata and he himself went to the forest for ascetic practices”  —  Vishnu Purana

“The country (varsam) that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bharatam; there dwell the descendants of Bharata”  Vishnu Purana

Retaining Bharat

 India as a nation has still preserved the traditional and ancient name of Bharat in many ways.

The Bharat Ratna Source: Wikimedia commons
The Bharat Ratna
Source: Wikimedia commons
  •  The highest and the most prestigious award which can be given to any Indian citizen is named as ‘Bharat Ratna’.
  • The Government of India has named various companies and Governmental institutions after the name Bharat keeping in mind the age old tradition. These include Bharat Petroleum, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bharat State Bank, Bharat Aluminium, Bharat Steals etc.
  • Legendary poet, Rabindranath Tagore in his National Anthem described India as `BHARATHA BHAGYA VIDHATA` which means one is lucky to have been born in India.
  • Our nation has been referred to as Bharat Desam and Bharatha with great patriotic passion in Mahakavi Bharathi’s renowned nationalistic songs and poems.

This shows the people of India have not given up recognizing India as Bharat. Thus, honouring the traditional name of Bharat and using it for patriotic and nationalistic purposes.

Reference: 

www.ivarta.com

pediaa.com

Shubhi Mangla is an intern at Newsgram and a student of Journalism & Mass Communication in New Delhi. Twitter @shubhi_mangla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Fall

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the fortnight have declined

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls
Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls, flickr

Domestic petrol prices, which had hit record levels for 16 consecutive days in May, have been on the reverse trend for the last 13 days, including Monday, but the relief for consumers has been slow in coming.

The pace of decline has been less than half the rate of surge.

Percentage-wise, since May 30, when prices started to take a downturn, petrol prices have slipped 2.35 per cent in Delhi, compared to the 5.5 per cent in the previous 16 days.

In absolute terms, prices have gone down by Rs 1.85 a litre since May 30, compared to the increase of Rs 3.8 per litre in the during May 14-29. On Monday, fuel was sold at Rs 76.58 per litre in the national capital, down 20 paise from Sunday’s level, the IndianOil Corp’s website showed.

In Mumbai, where petrol prices were the highest in the country last month, the decline has been much slow at Rs 1.23 per litre so far, against the rise of Rs 3.76 a litre during May 14-29.

On Monday, petrol price in Mumbai was Rs 84.41 per litre against Rs 84.61 on Sunday. Similarly, in Kolkata and Chennai, the fuel was sold at Rs 79.25 and Rs 79.48 respectively.

In Kolkata and Chennai too, the decline has been Rs 1.81 and Rs 1.65 per litre in the last 13 days, around 50 per cent of the previous rate of increase.

In tandem with petrol prices, diesel too has seen a decline, but of only around 2 per cent in all the major cities including Delhi, compared to over 5 per cent rise in the previous fortnight.

Petrol station
Petrol station, flickr

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the last 13 days have declined by Rs 1.36, and in Mumbai and Kolkata, the fall was of Rs 1.44 and Rs 1.45 per litre respectively.

Also read: Petrol price slashes by 32 paise and diesel price by 85 paise

On Monday, prices of the fuel in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were at Rs 67.95, Rs 70.50, Rs 72.35 and Rs 71.73 per litre, respectively. (IANS)