You are currently viewing Renaming the nation from India to Bharat won’t affect the Constitution’s fundamental design, according to PDT Achary

Renaming the nation from India to Bharat won’t affect the Constitution’s fundamental design, according to PDT Achary

Former Lok Sabha Secretary General PDT Achary claimed that altering the name of India in the Preamble to Bharat would not constitute modifying the Constitution’s fundamental design.

PDT Achary, a constitutional scholar, asserted that the Parliament has the authority to enact the constitutional revisions necessary to carry out any such exercise amid the intense speculation around the Narendra Modi government’s intention to rename the nation from India to Bharat.

“The Constitution can be changed in any part by the legislature. The essential framework of the Constitution cannot be amended by Parliament, but all other provisions can, according to Achary, who formerly held the position of Lok Sabha Secretary General.

According to Achary, the task of changing the name of the country will be a “herculean exercise”, but “can be done”. As per Achary, several constitutional amendments will have to be carried out in order to bring about any change in the country’s name from the Republic of India.

“First of all, Article 1 of the Constitution, which mentions the name of the country (India, that is Bharat) will have to be changed. Then, wherever India is used that will have to go… Then there will be inflections,” says Achary.

The Supreme Court developed the doctrine for the fundamental design of the Constitution in its seminal 1973 ruling in the Kesavananda Bharati case, and it established that the Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution but cannot change its fundamental design, which serves as a check on the powers of the executive and legislative branches of government.

So, if the country’s name is changed, will any of the Constitution’s necessary revisions result in a change to the document’s fundamental principles? “No,” replies Achary. He asserts that none of these constitutional changes, including the Preamble, will alter the Constitution’s fundamental design.

“The Constitution’s Preamble is a component of it. The Preamble needs to be amended if you wish to change the name of the nation from India to Bharat, according to Achary.

We are a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic, according to the Preamble. The fundamental framework (of the Constitution) will be affected if you tamper with any of these items. However, “Bharat” can be used in place of “India.” The Constitution’s fundamental structure is unaffected by the name change in and of itself, Achary continued.

The Preamble to the Constitution would be altered for the second time in independent India’s history if the government agrees to move forward with the exercise. The words “socialist” and “secular” were added to the preamble of the Constitution through the 42nd change of the Constitution in 1976, which was the first and only change made during the tenure of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The Supreme Court ruled in the well-known LIC case of 1995 that “the preamble of the Constitution… is an integral part of the Constitution,” despite the fact that it had been debated for a long time as to whether it was only an introduction or part of the Constitution.


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