India is a land with a rich historical background. Several invaders came and ruled our nation, of which longest tenure was of British rule. They had difficulty pronouncing a Hindi name ‘Bharat’, thus they changed the name to ‘India’, which is derived from the word ‘Indus’ of the Indus valley civilization. The word ‘India’ is not even mentioned in any of the Vedas, Puranas, Itihaasa or even Amarakosa. Thus, we can say that Bharat is the original name of our nation and India is an adopted name left by the invaders of our country. It is nothing but two sides of the same coin.

What is Bharat? The word ‘Bharat’ refers to the citizens of India with a traditional mindset, which reflects the culture and ethics of our country. On the other hand, what is India? ‘India’ refers to the modern day citizen of our country with a western mindset and technological advancement. Let’s illustrate this difference with a simple example of clothing. People with traditional mindset like clothing like – Salwar Suit, Saree, Burqha, Ghagra Choli, etc. But will youth of today wear salwar suit on a daily basis? Answer is no. The choice of clothes they have are more western like – jeans, tops, shorts, skirts, etc. This shows how Bharat is distinguished from India.

Now let’s focus on what actually the topic is ‘Is Bharat ready for India?’ There can be 1000s of views on this. Let’s look at some key points as to how Bharat is not ready for India –

1. Sabarimala Temple Issue
Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples in India in Kerala. As per the board that manages the temple, women between the age of 10 to 50 years (menstruating age) are not allowed to enter the temple. It created huge hue and cry. On September 28, 2018, Supreme Court ruled in favor of women and gave them the right to be able to enter the temple. But citizens are still protesting against it and not letting it be implemented peacefully. So does this reflect that Bharat is ready for India? No, we are still living under the age long tradition that menstruation is impure and during that time women have to follow several do’s and don’ts like not entering temples.

2. Decriminalization of Section 377
Section 377 of Indian Penal Code criminalizes homosexuality and has been in force since 1861. However, on September 6, 2018 Supreme Court decriminalized section 377 and accepted homosexuality as a third gender. Many of us will feel that this is a sign that Bharat is gradually getting ready for modern India. But I am afraid that it’s not the case. As the verdict was out, there were mixed reactions among the citizens of India. For example, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Arun Kumar said about the verdict “Just like Supreme Court, we also do not consider this criminal. But we do not support homosexuality, as same-sex marriages and relations are not in sync with nature. Traditionally too, Indian society does not accept such relations.” There were also people who hailed this ruling of Supreme Court but as mentioned earlier, will citizens will India actually accept if their son/daughter is gay? It is difficult. It will take many years for India to actually accept homosexuality whole-heartedly.

3. Traditional myths
India today has come a long way from what it was in 19th century. But for Bharat to be India, there is a long way to go because even today we hold on to our traditions even if we claim that we are modern in our mindset. Even today child marriages are happening, young girls are forced to help with household work and not given proper education, child labor is encouraged. We often hear young pregnant ladies saying, “If I have one boy child, I will not be pressurized to have another baby.” This shows how a modern day citizen still considers a boy child as “chirag” of the house. In rural areas, a girl child is still burned. Thus, it shows that Bharat is not yet ready for India.

There is no doubt that India has transformed as a nation from what it was 50 years ago. Currently it is one of the fastest growing economies. The recent launch of India’s first A-Sat was a remarkable development by our nation. Today, literacy rate of India has reached 74.04%. To conclude, we can say that though India has achieved new heights in technological advancement, there are small areas that still needs a lot of attention; only then we can confidently say that “Yes, Bharat is truly and completely ready for India”.