Culture · Youth

India Vs Bharat –Bridging The Divide

Vijay Singh Gautam writes about the differnces between the India and the ancient Bharat.

We never called her either India or Hindoostan. We knew her of old by quite a different name.The fact of the matter really is, that as long as you look upon our country as ‘India or the Land of the Indus’—you will get no closer and truer view than the foreign officials and students have been able to do. Our own name was, and is still today, among the Aryan population of the country, Bharatvarsha.”

-Bipin Chandra Pal, The Soul of India, 1911

“India that is Bharat shall be union of states” for the lawmakers of country proudly conferred in Article 1 of the Indian Constitution and they made no distinction between India and Bharat as they  were both implicitly devised for the same territorial boundary.For what remained between the lines in the black and white documents and was well read and deliberately controversial, was the great divide between what we assumed Bharat and where some part of the nation had transformed itself into the reality of present era i.e, India .The conflict is as old as India.Does the divide seem to exist in all phases of time? Does the Bharat vs. India divide really exist? Or is it some illusioned version of a highly anti-Indian brain in order to raise civil chaos and disharmony?

Also this issue has so much intermingled with our lives that we rarely seem to realize the notion in real sense for  as we see the struggle for LGBT rights by the non accepted members of our community, debates on live in relationship – a social outcast, juvenile justice. Mohan Bhagwat’s controversial statement regarding the rapes being happening in India and not his Bharat.These all are the ugly version of the social struggle we are facing.Does Bharat prohibit same sex marriage with our past supporting that same sex marriage and relations did exist even in our past or is India so morally imbalanced and astray that rapes are rising with a greater height? Or is it just a territory facing inner conflict and some intolerant and vague people trying to create inner conflicts, creating walls inside walls to weaken the strength of our great nation by perpetuity debates on India vs Bharat? Surely we can accomplish disparities in urban and rural India be it economic, social and political, as the well fed and taught class to be the citizens of towns and metropolis and the cumbersome viciously affected people to be village dwellers.The divide is manifested in forms like Rural-Urban divide, facilities, part of the mainstream economy, the reach of education and government policies, lifestyle, thought process etc. For some assume the cultural manifestations of west a big arena of dividing India and Bharat .For the ‘S’ fever i.e. ,Social Networking ,Sneakers,Selfies and Swag going viral since last decade to be India and the traditional and typically orthodox society to be Bharat.Presumptions that open minded people aimed for development and self-obsessed to be Indians and self content and simple being to be Bhartiya .But what remains exclusive is we live in Modern India  which is filling the gap if any between India and Bharat.

‘India’ denotes a territorial concept, whereas ‘Bharat’ signifies much more than the mere territories of India”


Historically speaking the term Bharat comes from Vishnu Parana (2, 1, 31) which says the country that led to the north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountain is called Bharatam. Named after the son of the then kingship Rishabh in the era of 1st century BC and later we saw terminologies such as hinduksh, hodu, India and Hindustan .For some of them found prominent importance and gained their place in the constitution and vernacular use while some vanished with time.But no one knows how and when did the disparity arose and enunciated to such a level that we got divided in a country of haves and haves not.Shedding light to the theory of dialectic materialism propounded by Karl Marx which seems relevant even today. The terminological tussle between India and Bharat does remain a cheap political vote-bank strategy and vulgar media tactics for loosely bounded and never ending debates and discussions in making people surreal about the nation they inhabit and creating boundaries within the geographical boundary of our nation.For as I live as much in India as much as in Bharat .Both are the same faces of the same coin rather than what contemporary thinkers suggest that they are opposite faces of the same coin.

As Mark Twain rightfully said “ India is the cradle of human race ,birthplace of human speech ,mother of history ,grandmother  of legend and the great grandmother of tradition“,we have 122 major language ,1599 other language,6 religions and 6 ethnic group and the list goes on as what not diversity we hold and hence gaps are natural to exist and also does the instinct of bridging the gaps .We have been endeavoring for the same since time immemorial and filling in the gap as programs such as MNREGA which provides guaranteed employment for 100 days to people willing to work,the Swach Bharat movement cleaning all the arenas of the country making it better place to live in ,advent of latrine to be built moreover enshrining sanitation and healthcare to people ,economically promoting to blur the disparity by creating self-help groups ,Skill India and Digital India schemes which enhances the output of an individual and leading to birth of terms such as global village and digital village ,narrowing the growth gap by providing the people of our nation with residence via Awas Yojana and Jeevan Jyoti Yojana which provides life insurance.

The gap is getting filled by the developing infrastructure, connecting gram panchayat digitally, opening of schools and colleges in outskirts of the city, Jan-DhanYojana, UjjawalaYojana(providing electricity to villages), reach of Media both print and digital, outreach of social networking sites, providing electronic appliances for connecting with the world (UP- Laptop Distribution Scheme), Public Private Partnership (PPP) is being used to facilitate projects, conducting Mann ki Baat so as to make the rural area get aware of the government schemes etc. Also game changing endeavors such as Sansad Gram Yojana where each MP has to take villages and initiate physical and institutional growth and infrastructural enhancement is a very strong argument withstanding the notion that — India that is our Bharat seems to coincide within the same geographical boundary.

Surely the materialistic attainment and redistribution of policies,growth and resources is going to take some time but each day passing by we can feel the change amidst the air around as the upcoming of AMUL in a small village which according to some remained remote and inaccessible became the dairy hub with consumption of near about 500 crores worth product. The industrial dominance of telecommunication giant Airtel all over India was started by a small town boy of Ludhiana; for remains intact the fact that India is accessible and has an impact on all Bhartiya and vice versa. As innumerable examples are set by stars such as M.S Dhoni , M.C Mary Kom ,Akshay Kumar etc making us believe that Bharat has contributed at par with India in making the land what and who we are. For we should all pose questions to ourselves did we think whose blood ran through the Mushkohvalleys in Kargil warwas it an Indians or a Bhartiya’s? Does the legislature enshrine different policies for both of them or what are you deep down inside –A Bhartiya or an Indian?

Aren’t you the Indian which breathes technology and is proud of the rich heritage we hold with luring selfies around Taj Mahal and the dynamic culture we hold or aren’t you the bhartiya who gets om namah shivaya tattooed or the popularized Maa italicsed around your wrist or the hyper nationalist  citizens jumping in excitement about the surgical strikes carried out by us in Pakistan occupied Kashmir or the wave of jingoism that rose due to Kanhaiya controversial speech .We surely are the conservative and the educated version of present world as termed by Salman Rushdie as we grow so does the inner Bhartiya /Indian gap narrows be it Facebook flooding with news regarding election of our nation or be it twitter twitting about the nuclear plan we are chalking. What remains prevalent should is that each day we should tussle with the issue and help grow our nation as one that would surely bridge the gap and try remain great citizens of a nation which could turn into superpower with our motives and support if we help eradicate the inner conflicts the biggest one remaining the Bharat vs. India issue.

We as citizens can help build the gap by working for the nation, paying our taxes on time, educating people, creating awareness. The rich can adopt a village and foster its development. We all have a certain role to play so as to bridge the gap between India and Bharat.

But, do we really need to bridge the gap? What is your viewpoint when I say India v. Bharat? Do you ponder over the difference that exists in the society or you just come out with a thought “India that is Bharat, is my homeland, my country.”

Leave a Reply