Indian hockey stalwart, PR Sreejesh, expressed his perspective on the ongoing ‘India vs. Bharat’ debate, emphasizing that ‘Bharat’ has always been a part of the nation’s identity. The controversy emerged when President Draupadi Murmu’s invitations to heads of state, government officials, and Chief Ministers of States for an official banquet during the G20 Summit in New Delhi replaced “India” with “Bharat.” This shift from the customary “President of the Republic of India” to “Bharat” has triggered discussions within political circles, particularly among members of the Opposition INDIA alliance.
In response to this development, Sreejesh remarked, “This is a new question for me because I have never viewed it that way. We have always exclaimed ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai.’ So, ‘Bharat’ has always been present. Now, the use of ‘Bharat’ instead of ‘India’ might seem unusual to me because we are accustomed to the latter term after carrying it for so many years. However, for the younger generation, this change will be a new experience, and they will likely adapt. Nevertheless, transitioning from ‘India’ to ‘Bharat’ poses a considerable challenge.”
Meanwhile, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) unveiled the official ceremonial attire and playing kit for the Indian contingent participating in the upcoming 2022 Asian Games scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8. The send-off ceremony, attended by Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur, IOA President PT Usha, and other senior officials, featured prominent sportspersons such as Indian hockey goalkeepers PR Sreejesh and Savita Punia, shooting sensation Manu Bhaker, and 2018 Asian Games shot put gold medallist Tajinderpal Singh Toor, among others.
With a roster of 33 members, the rowing team represents one of the largest units, second only to athletics, aiming to secure medals in Hangzhou. Additionally, a 15-member Esports team will make its official debut at the Asian Games.
In the previous edition of the Asian Games in 2018, the Indian contingent achieved a remarkable feat, amassing a total of 70 medals, including 16 gold medals, marking the highest medal count in its history.