Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat's latest statement has once again triggered a debate over 'Akhand Bharat' (Undivided India). Speaking at an event on Wednesday, Bhagwat, while responding to a question from a student, said that the idea of 'Akhand Bharat' will be a reality in the coming years.
The RSS chief's statement has come a raging debate over the country's name change from 'India' to 'Bharat'. WATCH VIDEO
What is 'Akhand Bharat'
As per historians, Akhand Bharat, also known as Akhand Hindustan was a term which was used during the independence movement. It is said that Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi advocated for Akhand Hindustan a proposition that Mahatma Gandhi agreed with. According to the freedom fighters Britain wanted to retain its empire by pursuing a policy of divide and rule and Hindu–Muslim unity could not be achieved as long as the British were there. Not just the Hindu freedom fighters, but Muslim across border too wanted a 'Akhand Bharat'. Mazhar Ali Khan, who was a Pakistani socialist intellectual and a veteran journalist wrote that the Khan brothers were determined to fight for Akhand Hindustan.
On 7–8 October 1944, in Delhi, Radha Kumud Mukherjee, the noted Indian nationalist during the period of British colonial rule, presided over the Akhand Hindustan Leaders' Conference, the first even such conference. Indian activist and Hindu Mahasabha leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar at the Hindu Mahasabha's 19th Annual Session in Ahmedabad in 1937 propounded the notion of an Akhand Bharat that must remain one and indivisible 'from Kashmir to Rameswaram, from Sindh to Assam.' The call for creation of the Akhand Bharat or Akhand Hindustan has on occasions been raised by Hindu nationalist organisations such as the Hindu Mahasabha, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishva Hindu Parishad, Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Hindu Sena, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Bharatiya Janata Party etc. One organisation sharing this goal, the Akhand Hindustan Morcha, bears the term in its name.
Which countries were part of it
As per history, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet were part of India and were said to be one nation. Pre-1947 maps of India, showing the modern states of Pakistan and Bangladesh as part of British India illustrate the borders of a proto-Akhand Bharat. The creation of an Akhand Bharat is also ideologically linked with the concept of Hindutva and the ideas of unity and purification.