September 7, 2023: The United Nations considers requests from countries to change their names as and when the world body receives them, a top UN official has said, amid a row over President Droupadi Murmu’s G20 dinner invites referring to her as ‘President of Bharat’ instead of ‘President of India’.
Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Farhan Haq, on Wednesday cited the example of Turkey changing its name to Turkiye last year.
“Well, in the case of Turkiye, we responded to a formal request delivered to us by the Government. Obviously, if we get requests like that, we consider them as they come,” he said in response to a question on reports that India’s name could be changed to Bharat.
A row erupted in India on Tuesday after invitations for a G20 dinner were sent out by President Murmu, describing her position as ‘President of Bharat’ instead of the customary ‘President of India’, with the opposition accusing the Narendra Modi government of planning to drop India and stay with just Bharat as the country’s name.
Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday told his ministerial colleagues to avoid the political row around the Bharat issue, noting that it has been the country’s ancient name.
Modi spoke on the issues 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 asked them to remain in the national capital during the mega exercise and discharge any duty assigned to them to ensure that visiting dignitaries are not put to any inconvenience.
The G20 Summit is being held in New 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