Rishi Kapoor went on a rampage on twitter yesterday. The cause of his anxiety was this:
Why are so many institutions, buildings, schemes etc. being named after the Nehru- Gandhi family?
Ignoring the fact that Mr. Kapoor likes causing a furore over petty stuff on social media outlets, the question is actually quite thought provoking. Of the top of my head, I could actually remember many institutions and schemes starting with “Indira”, “Rajiv” or “Nehru”.
Therefore, I have made a list of a few institutions which have been named after them:
- Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi:
As far as I know, Indira Gandhi had no contribution in the aviation sector. Contrast that with the likes of J.R.D. Tata, India’s first licensed pilot, and founder of the Tata group and you will agree with me that he is good enough to have an airport to be named after him
- Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament:
We had Dhyan Chand. We have Dileep Tirkey. They are more deserving of having a hockey tournament named after them
- Rajiv Gandhi National Football Academy, Haryana:
I don’t think we have a lack of quality footballers that we had to name an academy after Rajiv Gandhi. Even Bhaichung Bhutia has justified his skills as a player to warrant an academy named after him.
- Rajiv Gandhi Film Awards:
We could have named it after Satyajit Ray. The closest association Rajiv Gandhi had with the film industry was his friendship with Amitabh Bachchan.
- Indira Gandhi National Park, Tamil Nadu:
Indira Gandhi was not an animal rights activist. Even Maneka Gandhi could have a better claim to a national park than her.
- Rajiv Gandhi Home for Handicapped, Pondicherry:
Off the top of my head, Mother Teresa – who spent her life working for the poor and disabled – deserves to have her name associated with this more than Rajiv Gandhi.
- Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi:
The Headquarters of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, it could have been named after so many environmentalists. For example, Baba Amte.
- Rajiv Gandhi Music Festival:
We have Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Bismillah Khan, and Zakir Hussain among so many other musicians who have truly made Indian classical music famous at a global scale. And yet we give preference to Rajiv Gandhi
- Jawaharlal Nehru University:
Some experts feel that Nehru’s policies are to be blamed for the current lack of quality education in India. Naming an institution after him does seem quite ironical then. The first name which comes to mind who justifies an institution named after him would be Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.
- Mount Rajiv:
Yes, there actually is a mountain in the Himalayas named after Rajiv Gandhi! Couldn’t they have named it after a mountaineer, like Bachendri Pal?
An RTI query in 2012 revealed that 12 central and 52 state schemes, 28 sports tournaments and trophies, 19 stadiums, five airports and ports, 98 educational institutions, 51 awards, 15 fellowships, 15 national sanctuaries and parks, 39 hospitals and medical institutions, 37 institutions, chairs and festivals and 74 roads, buildings and places are named after three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
This statistic is mind-boggling, to say the least. It also goes to show the level of sycophancy that Congress workers are ready to go to, whatever their reasons may be.
I would also like to state that the above numbers are also the result of the fact that Congress has been in power for so long.
Food for thought: If BJP had been in power for as long as Congress has, would we have seen more schemes with names of BJP leaders?
Here is something else which caused a furore a few days ago: