Supreme Court of India has begun hearing a plea to amend Article 1 of the constitution. In simpler terms, the petitioner is arguing that India should henceforth be called only 'Bharat' or 'Hindustan' by the virtue of a constitutional amendment.
Ashwin Vaish, the lawyer of the petitioner, while making the argument in front of CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde, said, "Repeatedly the name India has been sought to be excluded. It's not been derived from within India, it is a name of Greek origin derived from the word 'indica'."
CJI Bobde has asked the petitioner to present their argument and facts to the Home Ministry for further deliberations on the matter.
Article 1 (1) of the Constitution reads, India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States. The petitioner says the name 'India' is a "symbol of slavery" while seeking an amendment to Article 1 to recognise "Bharat" or "Hindustan" as the only name for the country.
The petitioner quoted the constituent assembly debates to support his arguments in favour of the name change. He has also referred to places whose names were changed over the years.
The constituent assembly debated Article 1 of the then draft constitution prepared under the chairmanship of BR Ambedkar. It was a heated debate that saw sharp exchanges among the members on November 18, 1949 - just eight days before the Constitution was adopted.