There have been numerous names of our nation like Bharat, Bharatvarsh, Aryavrat, Hindustan, Sindhu Desh, Akhand Bharat, India etc. It is an age old debate of all of us. Majority of us consider Bharat as real name of our nation. We have fought agianst British Empire for 200 years considering our nation as “Bharat”. Officially it is the “Repulic of India”. Coincidently the Hindutva ideology after the creation of “Jan Sangh” later known as “RSS” popularized our nation as “Hindustan”. Coincidently, It was the name popularised by “Muslim Rulers of Medivial India”. Let us talk thing in detail.
Let us start from the name “Hindustan”.
The Word “Hindu” has neither been mentioned in any Hindu text nor used by scholars like “Adi guru Shankracharya”. The word Hindu/Indoi had been used by Greeks, Persians and Arabians. In Ancient and medieval India, rivers had been the integral part of their daily cultural routine. So demography was based on the name of “River” only. Right from Vedas Sindhu, Sarswati, Ganga, godavari, Kaveri etc have been considered the most essential rivers of all times. The River Sindhu is “the most talked about” river out of all rivers in Vedas. But Vedas never named any region using “Indus”. Much later in sixth Century BC, Persians used the world “Hindu” for people living besides “Sindhu river”, since Zend Avesta translates “Sapt Sindhu” of Vedas as “Hapt Hindu“, not only that Greeks were also using this word “Hindu” for people living beside “Hindu River”. Later on holy Quran significantly mentions “Al Hind” which means the region of Hindus. It is clear that word Hindu has nothing to with Religion because there was no such religion as Hinduism. It was later in Medieval India where Saint Kabir and many other saints in 16th and 17th century two different connotations “Sanatan Dharma” and “Hindu” as one. Henceforth Mughals, Khilji and Lodhi dynasties called our land as “Hindustan.
From where the word “India” came into existence?
Already informed you that Greeks also used the word “Indoi” and the Greek word literally translated to roman as “Indi”. Our nation was fully rich in natural resources, wealth and manpower. The other two regions which were abundant in natural resources were American and African continent. Do you know friends even Brahmanda Purana mentions other continents. We will explain this in detail later on. Coming to this topic, many European empires initiated to discover these places that is how Vasco Da Gama of Portugal Empire in 1498 discovered middle land of “Indies” and named it India. While, Columbus reached America and considered West Indies as original “India” in actual it was not. Portugues founded another Indies in the southeast Asia which was known as East Indies (Indonesian Archipelago and the Philippine Archipelago). Later in 1600 AD, British came into India for trade though a company called “East India Company”. It is how the word “India” came into existence.
Let us talk about Name “Bharat” now!
If Vedas mentioned “Sindhu River then, Vedas also mentioned a tribe and a King with the name “Bharat”. King Bharat originally was a Chandravanshi (Lineage of Ila, the daughter of Manu) king. He was son of Shakuntla and Dushyant. Dushyant was a Puru King. Bharata was called Chakravati because he had captured whole “Indian Subcontinent”. That territory was then called as “Bharatvarsh” or “Bharat Khand”. These two names have been repeatedly mentioned in Vedas, Purana and Upanishads. This Kingdom has directly formulated “today’s Indian Culture. Proof is “Mahabharat” itself. That is why localities of medieval India (1st CE to 17th CE) used to call our nation “Bharat”. There was another important name of Bharat, as mentioned in Vedas.
Is Aryavrat the first name of our Land?
Baudhayana sutras of Krishna Yajurveda, Vashista Sutra (compiled from Rig Veda) and many other scriptures has claimed our nation as AryaVrata, while all said about different boundaries of Aryavrata. It is to make sure that time period of framing the scriptures was different. It was possible that Aryavrata, the Land of Aryans have might shrinked due to invasion of Puru Kingdom. So scriptures mentioned different boundries.
Conclusion – Hindustan the name reflects the land of Hindus. This term raises so many controversies. RSS and other Pro Hindu group does not know the technicalities of this name. On the other hand Bharat was King who captured modern day India, documented one nation theory in the form of many Samhita and Shruti. He also accepted Vedas, all the other denominations other than Chandravansh. He was successful in making all his countrymen happy. Even all the sages and saints have documented 64 arts, 16 sciences under his rule. While the word “Aryavrat” was only focused on one ethnic group. India is the word given by those who ruled us. “Bharat” is also well accepted by both minorities and majorities. So to keep our culture alive, Word “Bharat” should be officially labeled as the name of our Nation.