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the original name bhārat; the given name india.

It is said that the invaders of Bhārat who arrived to the river Sindhu pronounced Sindhu as Hindu. Some say, the land on the banks of the river Indus was called India. Since then, the name “India” has been “stuck” with us for centuries now. There is no mention or trace of the name India in any Vedas, Puranas or any ancient scriptures.

Bhārat is the real name of India.

Many times, when we address our country, most of the time everyone says INDIA. This word India, has become so much part of our system that we practically have forgotten what is the name of our country.

Bhārat : what a beautiful name! …even when it is said, every cell starts blossoming within! …there is no life in the word ‘India,’ it is a word imposed to us. Basically a name which was given to us by outsiders, by the invaders.

Going a little deeper to find what is the meaning of Bhārat, one discovers that it is not just any word; Bhārat is made of two words: Bhā means light, as in Bhānu, Bhāskar… there is a glimpse of sun in it… Bhā means light; and ‘rat’ means to be engaged, where people are engaged in the search of light continuously. Light mean truth. So, imagine! What a beautiful meaning! Bhārat, the land where people are engaged in the search of truth forever and ever.

Unfortunately our land, our people, our mentality is still colonised to some extent. That is why somehow we feel ashamed calling our nation Bhārat, seems like it is embarrassing. It seems calling it INDIA is more ‘sophisticated’ than calling it Bhārat.

So please remember - in a way it will be a meditation technique, a matter of awareness. Especially when we talk with people from our country, we say Bhārat… Bhārat, Bhāratiya. Then you will feel that there is so much substance in the name.

Another observation is about our own language. Most of our people, especially in the metro cities, feel embarrassed to speak in Hindi, to dress in Indian traditional clothes. On the contrary, there is an effort to make an impression by speaking in English, dressing up in Western clothing. So one can see we are still being ruled by the western mentality. Everywhere in the corporate world, English is spoken. In all major five star four star hotels, in schools and colleges, English is looked upon as the language of the higher class. In airports, all the Indian staff speaks in English even to the Indians. Most so called high society people prefer to speak in English in their gatherings.

I live in Switzerland. Sometimes I attend the events organised by the local Indian associations and the Indian Embassies. Most of the time, in these events, all the announcements, speeches are happening in English. It is so strange to see that though these gatherings are about some Indian festivals like Diwali or some Indian theme, the language spoken is English. It seems we as Indians feel embarrassed to speak Hindi with our own countrymen. (Honestly I would have preferred to write this article in Hindi but was asked by the editor to write in English)

Why this is contradictory? Because when I attend Swiss gatherings here, all the speeches and announcements are strictly in local national language, although sometimes there are people of other nationalities present. Basically if any Swiss person in his whole life cannot speak English ever, he would still easily be able to function and flourish because people here give significance to their own language and not some foreign language. If one wants a Swiss citizenship, one must learn the local language - it is a compulsory criteria. In whole of Europe, their own mother tongue is the first and foremost language and English is not at all compulsory to succeed in career of jobs, or business. Sure, it is fine to learn English as it is a global language but to put down the national language down and to look down upon someone who will speak in Hindi is simply ridiculous.

It is time we as Indians, give respect and dignity to our roots - our langauge, our traditions, our dress codes, our music, our spiritual heritage. It is horrible to see Indians dressed up in three piece suites and ties and shoes in so much heat! There must have been a reason for cotton based clothing like Kurtas, Dhotis, Sarees and other graceful Indian clothing since it goes perfect with the domestic weather and surroundings. And anyway it looks so much more graceful when an Indian person is dressed in Indian clothing, instead of Jeans, T-shirts or Suites.

Whenever the rest of the world looks for some inner treasure - yoga, meditation, wisdom, peace, enlightenment - they turn towards India. This country has and will continue to enrich the rest of the world with her inner richness and valuable cultural and spiritual values and it is time for us, the people of Bhārat, to wake up to our own treasure and enrich ourselves.

Jai Bhārat, Jai Hind

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