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HISTORY OF COUNTRY’S NAMES

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HISTORY OF COUNTRY’S NAMES

WHY IN NEWS ?

  • As Opposition politicians have been posting images of an official invitation to a G20 dinner hosted by “The President of Bharat” instead of the usual “President of India”.

ORIGIN OF THE NAME “BHARAT”:

  • The roots of “Bharat”, “Bharata”, or “Bharatvarsha” are traced back to Puranic literature, and to the epic Mahabharata.
  • The Puranas describe Bharata as the land between the “sea in the south and the abode of snow in the north”.
  • Bharata is also the name of the ancient king of legend who was the ancestor of the Rig Vedic tribe of the Bharatas, and by extension, the progenitor of all peoples of the subcontinent.

ABOUT INDIA AND HINDUSTAN:

  • The name Hindustan is thought to have derived from ‘Hindu’, the Persian cognate form of the Sanskrit ‘Sindhu’ (Indus), which came into currency with the Achaemenid Persian conquest of the Indus valley (northwestern parts of the subcontinent) that begin in the 6th century BC (which was the time of The Buddha in the Gangetic basin).
  • The Achaemenids used the term to identify the lower Indus basin, and from around the first century of the Christian era, the suffix “stan” came to be used with the name to create “Hindustan”.
  • The Greeks, who had acquired knowledge of ‘Hind’ from the Achaemenids, transliterated the name as ‘Indus’.
  • By the time the Macedonian king Alexander invaded India in the 3rd century BC, ‘India’ had come to be identified with the region beyond the Indus.
  • By the time of the early Mughals (16th century), the name ‘Hindustan’ was used to describe the entire Indo-Gangetic plain.

SYLLABUS: PRELIMS, CURRENT AFFAIRS

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