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इंडियन आवाज़     18 May 2024 03:39:41      انڈین آواز

At G20 Modi Pushes INDIA Away, Highlights BHARAT at Fora

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African Union has been invited to join the G20 as a permanent member

ANDALIB AKHTER and NIRENDRA DEV

In a bid to give prominence to the country ancient name ‘Bharat’ at international forum, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used India as “Bharat” on the placard at the opening of the G20 summit on Saturday.

As Modi declared the summit in New Delhi open on Saturday, he sat behind a table nameplate that read “Bharat”, while the G20 logo had both names – “Bharat” written in Hindi and “India” in English.

Such placards have used “India” in the past.

Speaking in Hindi, the language spoken by a majority of the population, Modi said “Bharat welcomes the delegates as the President of the G20”.

Last year the G20 leadership was held by Indonesia and the summit concluded in Bali when the baton was handed over to India.

India is also called Bharat, Bharata, Hindustan and Al Hind — its pre-colonial names — in Indian languages and these are used interchangeably by the public and officially.

While the country has traditionally stuck to using India in titles such as president or prime minister while communicating in English, President Droupadi Murmu earlier this week referred to herself as the “President of Bharat” in a dinner invitation for a reception of G20 leaders, sparking controversy.

Media has begun speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under pressure from his own party BJP, is contemplating a name change from India to Bharat, the Hindu name that existed before the colonial British rule, and announe to the world on the international platform of the high profile G20 meet being attended by world leaders such as US President Joe Biden, UK PM Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Schultz, French premier Emanuel Macaron, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and Australian Premier Anthony Albanese to give it the international legitimacy it needs .

There is also speculation as to whether the PM Narendra Modi has called the special session of Parliament to vote on the name change, which under the 1st clause of the constitution gives both names. A President or the Prime Minister takes the oath of allegiance to the country as; India that is, Bharat. Opposition parties have questioned the legitimacy of the name change.

Just two days ago the Indian President Ms, Droupadi Murmu’s invite to the world leaders for an official banquet issued in the name of Bharat and not India has not only created a stir in Indian media but also fuelled speculation overseas if Prime Minister Narender Modi plans to change the name to Bharat in accordance with the early hindu tradition of it being Bharat which was anglicised by the British to India.

A new Indian Government document calling India’s PM Narendra Modi the “prime minister of Bharat” has added to swirling rumours that the country could get a name change”.

The 1st clause in the Indian constitution under which the Prime Minister owes allegiance to India also says, India, that is, Bharat …under which he takes the oath of office.

The new document designates Mr Modi as the “prime minister of Bharat” and not “prime minister of India”, which has been the format for over 75 years, which is now being celebrated as the Amrit Kal.

The social media bio on Twitter/X still says “Prime Minister of India” but some leaders and government officials have begun using the term “Bharat”.

“Bharat”, the word that dates back to ancient Indian scriptures, has not been a commonly used term for India’s domestic and international correspondence ever since it gained independence from British rule in 1947.

New Delhi is hosting leaders of major economies for the bloc’s summit at a new, $300 million conch-shaped convention centre called Bharat Mandapam, opposite a 16th-century stone fort.

In a brief televised inaugural session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the move to make the 55-member African bloc the first new member of the G20 since its creation in 1999 to cope with a series of financial crises.

“In keeping with the sentiment of sabka saath (with everyone), India had proposed that the African Union should be given permanent membership of the G20. I believe we all are in agreement on this proposal,” Modi said, speaking in Hindi.

After saying “with your agreement”, Modi banged a gavel thrice to mark the entry of the African Union into the grouping. “Before we start our work, I invite the African Union president to take his position as a permanent member,” he said.

A small step in history: African Union joins G20 – now its G-21

Permanent G20 membership signals the rise of a continent whose young population of 1.3 billion is set to double by 2050 and make up a quarter of the planet’s people.

The AU’s 55 member states, which include the disputed Western Sahara, have pressed for meaningful roles in the global bodies that long represented a now faded post-World War II order, including the United Nations Security Council. They also want reforms to a global financial system – including the World Bank and other entities – that forces African countries to pay more than others to borrow money, deepening their debt.

Africa is increasingly courting investment and political interest from a new generation of global powers beyond the U.S. and the continent’s former European colonizers. China is Africa’s largest trading partner and one of its largest lenders. Russia is its leading arms provider. Gulf nations have become some of the continent’s biggest investors. Turkey ’s largest overseas military base and embassy are in Somalia. Israel and Iran are increasing their outreach in search of partners.

African leaders have impatiently challenged the framing of the continent as a passive victim of war, extremism, hunger and disaster that’s pressured to take one side or another among global powers. Some would prefer to be brokers, as shown by African peace efforts following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Granting the African Union membership in the G20 is a step that recognizes the continent as a global power in itself. With full G20 membership, the AU can represent a continent that’s home to the world’s largest free trade area. It’s also enormously rich in the resources the world needs to combat climate change, which Africa contributes to the least but is affected by the most.

The African continent has 60% of the world’s renewable energy assets and more than 30% of the minerals key to renewable and low-carbon technologies. Congo alone has almost half of the world’s cobalt, a metal essential for lithium-ion batteries, according to a United Nations report on Africa’s economic development released last month.

Two big names – Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping – aren’t at the summit, with representatives attending on their behalf * The leaders will discuss issues including climate change, food security and debt restructuring for poorer countries

Beyond the diplomatic implications, officials said they hoped such an infrastructure deal could reduce shipping times, cost and the use of diesel and would make trade faster and cheaper.

Saudi Arabia will also participate in an investment forum. The event will be attended by India’s trade minister, Piyush Goyal, and the Saudi minister of investment, Khalid al-Falih, according to the organiser, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

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