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India-Bharat renaming: What is the cost of India's rebranding as Bharat?

Renaming of a country is a costly exercise. For instance, the estimated cost of renaming Swaziland to Eswatini was $60 million

Published: Sep 12, 2023 04:35:32 PM IST
Updated: Sep 12, 2023 05:01:52 PM IST

India-Bharat renaming: What is the cost of India's rebranding as Bharat?The approximate cost of India's renaming as Bharat is a mind-boggling Rs 14,304 crore, as reported by Outlook Business. Image: Shutterstock

All eyes were on the world leaders at the G20 Summit held in New Delhi last week and on the plaque in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The plaque which read 'Bharat' made headlines across the country currently known as India.

From primetime news to family Whatsapp groups, debates around the renaming of India to Bharat have been heating up, if not raging like wildfire, for the past week. The country seems divided about the renaming, if a cursory glance through social media timelines is anything to go by.

In political circles, there's an increasing number of flare-ups. On Sunday, senior leader of BJP from West Bengal, Dilip Ghosh, said India will be renamed as Bharat and those who are unhappy with the change are “free to leave the country.” Will they be leaving India or Bharat, one wonders?

The intense and widespread speculation about India being renamed to Bharat has also raised another critical question about the cost of such a spectacular rebranding exercise.

Also read: India or Bharat: What's in a name

What might be the financial ramifications of the renaming on the exchequer?

An intellectual property lawyer who developed a method to calculate the rough cost of rebranding a country said that the approximate cost of India's renaming as Bharat is a mind-boggling Rs 14,304 crore, as reported by Outlook Business.

In 2018, South Africa's Darren Oliver came up with the formula when Swaziland was renamed to Eswatini and the cost of that renaming exercise was put at $60 million.

Oliver applied the same method for India using its revenue as a factor, state reports. According to him, the average marketing budget of a large enterprise is around 6 percent of its total revenue while rebranding exercises cost up to 10 percent of the company’s overall marketing budget.

Also read: India or Bharat? Check out the Central government's PSU list for answers

For the fiscal year 2022-23, India's revenue receipts were worth Rs 23.84 lakh crore, including tax and non-tax revenue, and according to Oliver's formula, for "India" to become "Bharat", it will cost (0.006*23.84 lakh crore) Rs 14,304 crore.

Could Oliver be right? Only time and the final bill will tell.

For now, it seems, it is still uncertain whether the government is intent on going ahead with the change in name. But last week foreign heads of states who attended the G20 Summit received dinner invitations from President Droupadi Murmu describing her position as "President of Bharat". Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also identified as the leader representing "Bharat", as he made his opening remarks at the G20 Summit 'India' hosted. The dinner menu describing the smorgasbord of millet-based desi gastronomic delights had Bharat written on it too. The evening ended with the options of Filter Coffee, Darjeeling Tea and Kashmiri Kahwa to wash it all down.