Will India be referred to as Bharat? Following the distribution of an invitation to a G20 dinner slated for September 9, speculation is rampant. What drew everyone’s notice was the usage of the phrase “President of Bharat” rather than the more common “President of India.” At the same time, Parliament will hold a special session. People are connecting the dots and predicting that the administration would introduce a resolution in the upcoming Parliament session to convert “India” to “Bharat.” If this occurs, websites using.IN domains will face an identity crisis.
Let us first discuss India and Bharat before we discuss.IN. We currently know and refer to our country as both. Both India and Bharat are used in the Indian Constitution. The distinction is in the language: the country is known as India in English. It is known as Bharat in Hindi. If the rumours are true, the country will be known as Bharat in both Hindi and English.
Let us now discuss the.IN domain. This.IN is a country code Top Layer Domain (ccTLD) that informs the world that any website using.IN had its domain name registered with INRegistry, an NIXI-created organization. Furthermore, the.IN domain has various subdomains that are exclusively dedicated for specific purposes. For example, gov.in is designated for use by the Indian government, but mil.in is designated for use by the Indian military.
However, when it comes to TLDs, the name isn’t all that important. This is why all kinds of TLDs are now available for all kinds of purposes. Nonetheless, considering that initially all ccTLDs were formed of two alphabets and that all countries were allocated one, they do provide an identity to a website. This implies that when you come across a.IN website, you know it is an Indian website. It is a different thing whether it is or not. All other ccTLDs are the same. As an example, .CN refers to a Chinese website, .US to an American website,.UK to a British website, and so on.
If India is referred to as Bharat on the internet tomorrow, it would be a good idea to create a new TLD for the country’s websites. Saying anything along the lines of.BH or.BR would be ideal. Even .BT could work. Unfortunately, all of these TLDs are already in use. Bahrain owns the.BH domain. Brazil owns the.BR domain. Bhutan owns the.BT domain. As an aside, we could ask Bahrain or Bhutan for their ccTLDs. Or perhaps we can accept a few extra TLDs, especially now that even longer TLDs are permitted. So we can take control.BHARAT. Or perhaps.BHRT.
It is essential to note that the transition from India to Bharat has no operational implications for websites that use.IN domains. They will still be accessible via the internet, and you will be able to connect to them. It’s simply a procedural or identity issue. Will we still refer to our.IN websites as Indian websites if the country’s name changes? Will they lose their “Indian-ness” as a result? Or, to borrow a line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name?” We are confident that different web users accessing.IN websites would have varied responses after the country’s name is changed from India to Bharat. Some may dismiss it and continue to enjoy their.IN.