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Indian premier uses 'Bharat,' not India for G-20 nameplate

G-20 host Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nameplate read "Bharat," the Sanskrit or Hindi title of the South Asian country, rather than India, as he declared opened the G-20 summit in New Delhi on Saturday.

"Bharat welcomes the delegates as the President of the G20," Modi said, speaking in Hindi.

Both the words are used officially in the nation of 1.4 billion people, but a row erupted on the issue this week when dinner invites for the Group of 20 summit referred Droupadi Murmu as “President of Bharat” instead of “President of India.”

The move fueled a public debate over what the country should be called. While some support the name Bharat, and say that India was given by British colonizers, others argue the name predates colonial rule.

The opposition has also warned against changing the country’s name, saying the use of Bharat was a response to the formation of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, or the INDIA alliance.


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