Yuva - India

Narendra Modi Stadium: Pride for some and an ‘Insult’ for others

On Wednesday, the honourable President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the world’s largest cricket stadium in Motera, Gujarat.

India added another feather in its cap on Wednesday when President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated what is the largest cricket stadium in the world, in Motera, Gujarat. The stadium has been named after the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and is thus called the ‘Narendra Modi Stadium’. Shri Kovind also carried out the Bhumi Pujan of the Sardar Patel Sports Enclave, inside which the stadium is situated.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister of Sports Kiren Rijiju and Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel were also present on the occasion. The world’s largest cricket stadium with a seating capacity of 1, 10, 000 spectators was inaugurated ahead of the third pink ball test match between India and England.

The stadium, earlier known as the Sardar Patel cricket stadium was constructed in the year 1982 and initially had the capacity of accommodating 49,000 people. The stadium is spread across an area of 63 acres and also has an indoor cricket academy along with a dormitory for 40 athletes. In addition to this, it has dressing rooms roomy enough to accommodate four teams with a state- of- the- art gymnasium, six indoor practice pitches and three outdoor practice fields as well.

Albeit the revamped cricket stadium and the newly built sports enclave are attracting every cricket maniac towards it, people of the country have divided opinions yet again as far as the new name of the stadium is concerned. The new name is the current major talking point among the citizens of the country, cricket- lovers and others alike.

Similar to any other major development which takes place in the nation, the left lobby is opposing the stadium being named after the Prime Minister and are having a meltdown. Astoundingly this time, even the right- wingers have chosen two different sides this time. While one section of people thinks it is absolutely alright to rename the stadium, other right- wingers reckon that this should not have been done.

If we look into the viewpoint of the left- lobby, we will find them opposing the name change of the stadium because according to them, replacing the name of Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel with that of Narendra Modi is demeaning and ‘insulting’ to Sardar Patel. A few Congress leaders and partisans took to social media to express their ‘anger’ against this step. While some were seen comparing Modi to Hitler, others called the Prime Minister narcissistic and a megalomaniac!

Ashok Swain, the Swedish ‘professor’ said in his tweet, “Hitler had named the football stadium at Stuttgart as Adolf- Hitler Kampfbahn in 1933! It is now called Mercedes- Benz arena.”

Swati Chaturvedi, a ‘journalist’ tweeted saying, “Some folks and bhakts attacked Mayawati for building her own statues. Same folks are noticeably silent as Narendra Modi renaming Motera stadium as Narendra Modi stadium. Double standards much?”

The right- wingers’ camp that is okay with the new name of the stadium had befitting replies ready for the leftists who targeted the Prime Minister incessantly all day after the inauguration. This section of people did not let the leftists get away with their hate spewing campaign and took on them at every step.

This group countered all the misinformation which was being peddled by the ‘liberals’ on social media. The loophole in the leftists’ arguments being that the stadium was earlier called Sardar Patel stadium and the Gujarat Cricket Association has now expanded the erstwhile stadium into a mammoth sports enclave. And it is crucial to note that the name of Sardar Patel has not been removed. In fact, his name has been elevated to mark the entire sports complex, inside which the cricket stadium is housed. Therefore, the enclave is named as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave.

Another argument being cited by the right- wing is that the renaming of the stadium is premised on the Prime Minister’s tenure as the president of the Gujarat Cricket Association from September 2009 to May 2014 and not on his position as the incumbent PM of the country. Modi, as the president of the GCA was instrumental in the development of the entire sports complex.

Another fact which comes as a slap in the faces of the left- lobby and Congress leaders is that a November 2013 RTI response had revealed that Nehru- Gandhi family names were used for a whopping 450 different schemes, projects and institutions. 12 central and 52 state schemes, 28 sports tournaments and trophies, 19 stadiums, 5 airports and ports, 98 educational institutions, 51 awards, 15 fellowships, 15 national sanctuaries and parks, 39 medical institutions and hospitals, 37 institutions, chairs and festivals and 74 roads, buildings and places are named after three members of the Nehru- Gandhi political dynasty: Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

In addition to this, there are parks and zoos named after Kamala Nehru who was Jawaharlal Nehru’s wife and never a politician. She had in fact died even before independence. Also, there are parks, gardens, schools, memorials and hospitals named after Sanjay Gandhi.

Looking at the current scenario, it seems that the ‘liberals’ have not fathomed the nuances of the fact that the stadium is situated inside the sports enclave and it is not the other way round. And the established fact that the left- lobby will oppose anything and everything under the sun which is introduced by the Modi government stands corroborated yet again.

Sonakshi Datta

Intern, Goa Chronicle

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