A recent G20 summit dinner invitation that referred to the ‘President of Bharat’ has ignited debates and speculations about the potential renaming of India to ‘Bharat.’ While this development has faced criticism and sparked political discussions, it’s worth noting that countries changing their names or official titles is not uncommon in history. Let’s take a closer look at some notable examples from around the world.
- Turkiye (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the official name change to Turkiye to better represent the nation’s culture and civilization globally.
- Czechia (Czech Republic): In April 2016, the Czech Republic streamlined its name to Czechia for simplicity, making it easier to recognize in sports and international marketing.
- Eswatini (Swaziland): Swaziland became Eswatini to eliminate confusion with Switzerland and to embrace its indigenous heritage.
- The Netherlands: In January 2020, The Netherlands shifted its promotional focus from Holland, projecting itself as open, inventive, and inclusive.
- Republic of North Macedonia: To join NATO and distinguish itself from the Greek region named Macedonia, the country became the Republic of North Macedonia in February 2019.
- Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka discarded the colonial name Ceylon in 2011, asserting its independence from historical remnants of Portuguese and British rule.
- Ireland: In 1937, Ireland adopted the name ‘Ireland’ and officially became a republic.
- Republic of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde): In 2013, Cape Verde adopted the full Portuguese spelling, ‘Republic of Cabo Verde,’ honoring its official language.
- Thailand: Siam transitioned to Thailand in 1939, briefly reverting to Siam between 1946 and 1948 before officially becoming the Kingdom of Thailand.
- Myanmar: In 1989, Myanmar replaced Burma as the official name, reflecting linguistic accuracy despite ongoing global usage of the older name.
- Cambodia: Cambodia has undergone various name changes over the years, reflecting its complex history, including the Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, State of Cambodia, and the Kingdom of Cambodia.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo: The Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced multiple name changes, evolving from Congo Free State to Belgian Congo, Congo-Leopoldville, Republic of Congo, Republic of Zaire, and finally, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997.
- Iran: Iran transitioned from Persia to Iran in 1935, changing how the country and its citizens were identified, sparking debates among Iranians.
These examples illustrate that changes in a country’s name or official title can occur for various reasons, including cultural representation, historical accuracy, or international recognition. The discussions surrounding India’s potential renaming to ‘Bharat’ reflect the complexities and significance of such decisions in the context of a nation’s identity and heritage.