With buzz around the potential renaming of India to Bharat gaining momentum across the country, former India cricketer Virender Sehwag has made an appeal to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
India’s 2011 World Cup and 2007 T20 World Cup-winning cricketer has appealed to the BCCI to consider having jerseys for the Indian team participating in the upcoming ICC World Cup with the name “Bharat” instead of “India.”
Sehwag posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) to express that it’s high time to officially reinstate our original name, ‘Bharat’
“I have always believed a name should be one that instills pride in us. We are Bhartiyas. India is a name given by the British, and it has been long overdue to get our original name, ‘Bharat’, back officially. I urge the BCCI and Jay Shah to ensure that this World Cup our players have Bharat on our chest,” he said.
Sehwag referenced instances of other nations using their indigenous names in global tournaments as examples.
“In the 1996 World Cup, the Netherlands came to play in the World Cup in Bharat as Holland. In 2003, when we met them, they were in the Netherlands and continue to be so. Burma has changed the name given by the British back to Myanmar. And many others have gone back to their original names,” Sehwag said.
However, the Sehwag tweet has gotten mixed reactions from social media users.
“If winning hearts is an art, then you are Picasso at it, Viru Paaji,” commented a user.
“How can we erase the memories of ‘India-India’ chants when the whole country was cheering for our cricket team in the World Cup, for Isro when Chandryaan was launched, or numerous other occasions like this? This is not about politics; this is about emotions,” wrote another user.
The official invite sent by President Droupadi Murmu to G20 delegates as “President of Bharat” sparked a debate around India’s name change. The invitation generated significant attention because, for the first time, it referred to the head of state as the “President of Bharat” in an official capacity.