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Why Indian, why not Bharatiya? asks plea in Supreme Court, court adjourns hearing

A three judge bench comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Navin Sinha & Justice K.M. Joseph heard the plea challenging usage of the word Indian instead of Bharatiyaon Thursday and adjourned the hearing.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned hearing on a plea challenging the usage of the word “Indian” instead of “Bharatiya” while referring to citizens of this country and to examine the viability of the words “India” and “Indian”. 

A three-judge bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Navin Sinha and Justice K.M. Joseph was hearing the plea filed by Kedar Prakash Chaware seeking directions to appoint a commission or a committee consisting of such number of members and qualifications to investigate the matter and to extract the truth to determine the exact interpretation and various meanings of word “Indian”, taken on the international level and mostly in European countries. 

The petitioner has submitted, “The right to human dignity is integral to the right to life and the government has a constitutional obligation to provide the same. At the time of framing of the Constitution only the emphasis is given upon using our own alternative i.e. “Bharat” for recognizing our country in our languages. It is to be noted that the most probable intention behind inserting the alternate word “Bharat” as the country name and its derived “Bharatiya” nationality can be said as to provide ourselves our own respectful representation in our nation and on the International level.”

The petitioner contended, “That ‘Indian’ is a global term used for various peoples of various countries and not only for the nationals of our country. As we have adopted “Indian” as our nationality but people of European countries use this word for denoting a tribal man or tribal people. It is also to be noted that this use of the word by these people of foreign countries is not recent one or that they are using this word after adoption of this word as our nationality.” 

“Indian” is also considered as a sub-standard race on the international level and that would amount to violation of fundamental rights given under Article 21 of Constitution of India, stated the plea.

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