INDIA a work in progress, adds Bharat to its tagline

Assam CM slams INDIA as a ‘colonial’ name; Opposition leaders say tagline will be ‘Jeetega Bharat’, translated into several languages; Congress posts slogan variant: Judega Bharat, Jeetega India

Updated - July 20, 2023 07:21 am IST

Published - July 19, 2023 09:17 am IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi having a word with West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee during a joint press conference after the opposition parties meeting, in Bengaluru, Tuesday, July 18, 2023.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi having a word with West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee during a joint press conference after the opposition parties meeting, in Bengaluru, Tuesday, July 18, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after naming itself ‘INDIA’, the Opposition coalition added Bharat to its tagline.

The name chosen by 26 Opposition parties — Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance, or INDIA — sparked off a political controversy, with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had targeted the “colonial” name. “Our civilisational conflict is pivoted around India and Bharat. The British named our country as India. We must strive to free ourselves from colonial legacies. Our forefathers fought for Bharat, and we will continue to work for Bharat. BJP for BHARAT,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

INDIA Alliance

Also read | Coalitions of ‘negativity’ never successful, says PM Modi

Slamming Mr. Sarma, Opposition leaders said they had finalised Jeetega Bharat (India will win)as the alliance’s tagline, even though they had not yet officially announced it.

Slogan variants

However, even within the Opposition bloc, there were minor differences on what the actual tagline is.

“Judega Bharat, Jeetega India [Bharat will unite, India will win],” the Congress party’s official Twitter handle posted on Wednesday, as it released a video including former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s comments in Bengaluru, explaining how the Opposition bloc decided to call itself INDIA.

The party’s communications chief Jairam Ramesh went a step further, connecting the slogan to Mr. Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. “The essential message of the Bharat Jodo Yatra: Judega Bharat. The essential message of the Bengaluru conclave of 26 political parties: Jeetega INDIA,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

However, on Wednesday, Trinamool Congress leader Sabha Derek O’Brien retweeted a news report that claimed, “Jeetega Bharat tagline for opposition parties’ alliance INDIA”.

‘Jeetega Bharat’

Sources told The Hindu that “Jeetega Bharat” or “India will win” is the main tagline, which is likely to be replicated in several regional languages. During the closed door meeting in Bengaluru on Tuesday, several Opposition leaders, including former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, emphasised the need to include the word “Bharat” to describe the alliance.

“It was decided that it would feature in the tagline,” a source said, adding that the slogan reflected the efforts of several leaders.

‘BJP’s divisive tendencies’

Slamming the BJP and Mr. Sarma for creating a controversy over the Opposition coalition’s name, Congress general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal alleged that the “BJP’s divisive tendencies are in full display to divide our country”.

“India is Bharat, and Bharat is India. If you had ever looked at the Constitution, you would have read Article 1. You divide people on religious, caste, community, ethnicity, and regional lines on a daily basis. Are people who cheer for India on the cricket field not Bharatiya? Are Bharatiyas who proudly tell the world that they’re Indian any less patriotic?” he tweeted. “Mr. Sarma, stop looking at India through its fault lines. Look at what unites us - our patriotism, our brotherhood and our harmony is what makes us Indian! Judega Bharat, Jeetega INDIA,” Mr. Venugopal added.

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