STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Putting the Motera stadium renaming in perspective

Neither did the progressive liberals nor left-leaning advocates of an egalitarian society cry foul then, so what’s the big deal now, the ruling party said.

Published: 26th February 2021 07:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2021 07:35 AM   |  A+A-

Motera stadium

The 'upgraded' Motera stadium can accommodate an awe-inspiring 1.32 lakh spectators. (Photo | AFP)

When a hullabaloo broke out soon after it was revealed that the world’s largest stadium in Ahmedabad, the Motera, was renamed the Narendra Modi stadium, the BJP and Central government were absolutely correct when they pointed out that they were not the first to name a stadium or an airport after a political leader. After all, the Congress takes the cake in this.

The Indira Gandhi International Airport, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the Rajiv Chowk metro station, all located in Delhi, are just some examples of public spaces named after the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. The BJP can argue, and rightly so, that there was no big fuss when these were named after the erstwhile first family. Neither did the progressive liberals nor left-leaning advocates of an egalitarian society cry foul then, so what’s the big deal now, the ruling party said.

It can also be argued that the practice of naming airports, towns or stadia after political leaders is not an exclusive domain of India. Two of the biggest and busiest airports in the world, the John F Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle airports in New York and Paris respectively, get their names from former Presidents of the US and France.

But that said, unlike India, there is no fetish abroad to rechristen stadia or airports after politicians. Some of the biggest and most famous sporting arenas such as Wimbledon, Camp Nou, Lord’s and Old Trafford have not been named after political leaders. Nor are major international airports such as Beijing, Dubai, Heathrow or Los Angeles.

It is perhaps time to ponder if any purposeful need is served, even narrow political ones, by naming almost anything after political leaders or icons. If changing the names of towns, stadia, airports, hospitals, schools, colleges and government schemes after political leaders helped win elections, then the Congress would not have been reduced to just the 50-odd seats in the Lok Sabha. Nor can the Dalits hope to live a life of dignity and equal opportunities by simply renaming Amroha, a town in Uttar Pradesh, to Jyotiba Phule Nagar. It’s time to stop pandering to someone’s vanity or indulging in mere symbolism. It neither wins votes nor is it a shining example of good governance.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp