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   There seems to be some controversy over the naming... (August 13, 1990)

There seems to be some controversy over the naming of the Sahar airport – whether to name it after Shivaji Maharaj or Jawaharlal Nehru? Since neither of them is alive to giver his opinion, I will represent them.

I think it should be named after neither, since I do not want them, or their names, to be abused continuously by angry and frustrated passengers and people who come to see them off at the airport or receive them.

I do not want passengers, who have been glided through Healthrow and Frankful on the smooth wheels of efficiency and courtesy to arrive at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport to find themselves at the end of an immigration queue of passengers from their own flight, plus three arriving from the Gulf at the same time, one from Singapore and one from Bangkok. ("No, no separate queue for foreigner, everybody in the same queue.")

And I do not want passengers hassled by customs officials on the take to know they are at the Jawaharlal Nehru Airport.

I do not want visitors to buy admission tickets to enter the airport and then find they have nowhere to go, no chair to sit on, and they could as well have not paid the admission and stood a few yards away – outside.

I do not want Shivaji's name to be associated with some of the worst taci-drivers in the city (no decent ones ever wait in queues at the airport or at the hotels), who end up charging passengers in dollars instead of rupees.

And I do not want an airport that was 30 years behind times when it was constructed (now it is 50 years behind times) to be named after Nehru, a man who was 50 years ahead of his times.

I do not want their names to be associated with an airport that smells of overflowing toilets and urine.

Or where they treat green channels like red channels and stop you methodically, regularly and cusedly.

Or an airport which, two years after the fire, is still under repair.

I do not want their names to be used by an airport where passengers read arriving or taking off from.

So, on behalf of both Shivaji Maharaj and Jawaharlal Nehru, I wish to state they they would not like to be associated with an airport where their memory will be abused every second. Instead, there are several persons who we would be happy to abuse and whoe names can be given to the Sahar airport. I will not identify them, since I am not representing them.

 
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