The United Nations “will change India’s name to Bharat in UN records” when New Delhi completes all the formalities for the same, a spokesperson for the global body told NDTV today. “When India completes the formalities to change the name, they will inform us and we will change the name at the UN (records),” United Nations Secretary General’s chief spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
The statement comes days after a huge controversy broke out over the shift to India from Bharat in the dinner invitation from President Droupadi Murmu to foreign leaders attending the G20 summit this weekend.
“It’s not for the UN to comment on the debate,” Mr Dujarric, who was speaking on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Delhi, said.
“As long as the formalities are done, the UN will change the name too. It’s a bureaucratic issue when it comes to what the UN needs to do,” he added.
India will not be the first country if, at all, the name change happens. There’s a long list of countries that have changed their names due to political, social, or other reasons.
The UN top official also cited the example of Turkey changing its name to Turkiye last year and said “history has shown that it has happened a number of times for several countries”.
The Opposition has accused the Centre of planning to drop India and stay with just Bharat as the country’s name. Several ministers and BJP leaders have said there need not be any controversy as ‘Bharat’ has been “in use from time immemorial”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently spoke on the issue during his interaction with the Union Council of Ministers in which he laid down the dos and don’ts to be observed by them during the upcoming G20 summit. He told his ministerial colleagues to avoid the political row around the Bharat issue, noting that it has been the country’s ancient name.
The spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General also said that India’s presidency comes at a “very critical time”.
“The presidency comes at a very critical time. India is a leading voice in the Global South. India is also a bridge builder politically, and geographically and the theme for this G20 ‘One Earth, One Planet’ is exactly what we need this time,” Mr Dujarric said.
The G20 Summit is being held in Delhi on September 9 and 10 under India’s presidency and several heads of state from across the world, including US President Joe Biden, are attending the event.