“India” or “Bharat” is one of the biggest countries in South – Asia, the seventh-largest by area and has about one-sixth of the world’s population claiming to be the second most populated country in the world after China and also one of the largest democracies of the world. India has a varied sense of landscapes, rich heritage, culture, incredible flora, and fauna. It has six bordering countries that include Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
The country’s name in Hindi (which is one of the co-official languages of the country) is “Bharat”, which is derived from the Sanskrit name “Bharata” which means “the cherished”. This name is recognized by the “Constitution of India”. Bharat is also named after King Bharata, son of King Dushyanta and Shakuntala. It is also a modernized version of the name “Bharatvarsha”, which according to Vishnu Purana “The country that lies north of the ocean and the south of the snowy mountains”.
Some believe it is believed from the dance form “Bharatnatyam” – ‘Bha’ from Bhavam or expression, ‘Ra’ from Ragam or melody, and ‘Ta’ from Thalam or rhythm. This interpretation extracts beautiful imagery of harmonious diversity, offering a glimpse of what ‘Bharatvarsa’ might have meant to people in ancient times.
The country is also referred by the name Hindustan. But the widely used name is “Republic of India”
Why do we call Bharat as India in English?
The etymology of the name “India” is derived from the river “Sindhu” which is a river that flows through the northwestern part of the country. Some people like Arabs and Iranians call this land as “Hindu”, replacing “S” with “H”. It also shares the roots with the name Indus, people of Greek used to call us Indoi, meaning “People of Indus”. The name “India” can also be considered to be derived from the Persian word “Hind” (Short form of “Hindustan”) which again connects it to the Indus River.
Many people also believe that since India had rich cultivation of crop “Indigo” the name “India” is derived from that. Many people outside the country used to come and buy the crop making the country famous.
The history of the name “India” is dated back to old times, between mid – 5th to mid – 12th Century AD, and used in King Alfred’s translation of Orosius (theologian). Some also believe that the name has been derived under French influence, replace by Ynde or Inde or from the Latin word India. Also the name “Indie” has appeared, in the first version of King James Version of Bible and also some works of William Shakespeare, both belonging to the early phase of the modern English. The English name “India” has been in use since the 17th century and has been in use since then. It has become a common name that everyone can relate to.