The United Nations (UN) has addressed the recent controversy surrounding President Droupadi Murmu’s G20 dinner invitations, wherein she was referred to as ‘President of Bharat’ instead of ‘President of India.’ A top UN official emphasized that the organization considers requests from countries to change their names when such requests are formally submitted.
Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Farhan Haq, pointed to the example of Turkey, which officially changed its name to Turkiye last year. In response to questions about India’s potential name change to Bharat, Haq stated, “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.”
The controversy in India erupted after President Murmu’s invitations departed from the traditional ‘President of India’ title, using ‘President of Bharat’ instead. This departure led to accusations by opposition parties that the Narendra Modi government aimed to rebrand the country as Bharat and discard the name India.
In response to the growing debate, Prime Minister Modi urged his ministerial colleagues to steer clear of the political dispute surrounding the name issue. He emphasized that ‘Bharat’ is the country’s ancient name and suggested that it should not be a cause for political discord.
PM Modi addressed these matters during his interaction with the Union Council of Ministers as part of preparations for the upcoming G20 summit. He advised them to remain in the national capital during the summit to ensure the smooth conduct of the event and the comfort of visiting dignitaries.
The G20 Summit, hosted by India under its presidency, is scheduled for September 9 and 10 in New Delhi, and it will be attended by several heads of state, including US President Joe Biden.
The UN’s measured response reflects its commitment to handling matters of international diplomacy and recognizing the significance of formal requests when it comes to matters of nomenclature for member nations.