Bharat: Countries That Changed Their Names (Full List)


There are strong indications that India might change its name to the Republic of Bharat, making the former British colony the latest country to shake off its colonial identity.

India will not be the first or the last country to change its name. Turkey changed its name to Turkiye; Czech Republic changed to Czechia; The Netherlands was formerly called Holland, while Zambia was formerly called Northern Rhodesia.

If India succeeded with the move, it will be ready to bear the cost and legal implications of renaming a country in the coming days.

Map of India. Photo credit:

When did India make the name change?

At the time of this report, InfomediaNG can confirm that the name change is yet to be ratified, but the Narendra Modi-led government has convened a 5-day Special Session of Parliament  beginning from September 18 through September 22, 2023.

Prime Minister Modi sent the first signal in his recent dinner invitations sent to guests attending the September 2023 Group of 20 (G20) summit, where he boldly used Bharat in place of India, triggering speculation that the name of the country will be ratified by the Parliament.

Why is India changing its name?

Bharat, the new name, is an ancient Sanskrit word that many historians believe dates back to early Hindu texts. The word is also used as a Hindi option for India.

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Majority of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opines that India is a “symbol of slavery”.

India was a British colony for about 200 years until it gained independence in 1947.

Countries That Changed Their Names

While we await the Republic of Bharat to become official, here is a list of countries that changed their names:

  • Turkey: Turkiye
  • Czech Republic: Czechia
  • Holland: The Netherlands
  • Macedonia: North Macedonia
  • Ceylon: Sri Lanka
  • Irish Free State: Ireland
  • Siam: Thailand
  • Cape Verde: Republic of Cabo Verde (Africa)
  • Burma: Myanmar

African countries that changed their names

Similarly, some African Countries have changed their names or are planning to do so after they gained independence from their colonial masters.

Here is a list of countries in Africa that changed their names:

  • Gold Coast: Ghana
  • Basutoland: The Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Nyasaland: Malawi
  • Portuguese Guinea: Guinea Bissau
  • French Guinea: The republic of Guinea Conakry
  • French Territory of Afar: Djibouti
  • Ruanda: Rwanda
  • French Soudan: Mali
  • Belgian Congo: Congo Democratic Republic of Congo
  • British protectorate of Bechuanaland: Botswana
  • French Congo or ‘Moyen Congo’: Republic of Congo also known as Congo Brazzaville
  • Portuguese East Africa: Mozambique
  • Portuguese Angola or Portuguese West Africa: Angola
  • The Spanish possessions of Rio Muni and Fernando Po United: Equatorial Guinea
  • South-West Africa: Namibia
  • Northern Rhodesia: Zambia
  • Southern Rhodesia: Zimbabwe
  • Urundi: Burundi
  • Republic of Dahomey: Benin Republic
  • Haute Voltaire or Upper Volta: Burkina Faso
  • Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba,Tanganya: Tanzania
  • Swaziland: Kingdom of eSwatini
  • Abyssinia: Ethiopia
  • From the Republic of The Gambia to Islamic Republic of The Gambia and back to the original name.
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Did we miss the name of any country that changed their name?


If India changes its name to the Republic of Bharat, the country would be the latest to change its name.

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