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   A point about the renaming of Sahar and other airports... (March 5, 1990)

A point about the renaming of Sahar and other airports in the country is that those after whom these airports are sought to tbe named either cannot be consulted or are not consulted. I wonder what their opinion would be.

Jawaharlal Nehru certainly would be like the airport or anything else named after him. He was not that kind of man. In fact, he would have been positively annoyed to see every second thing called Nehru. Besides, the entire country should be dedicated to him, not a little road here and a housing colony here.

About Babasaheb Ambedkar, I do not know. He was also not the type to want airports named after himself. Though he may have agreed if his name projected the cause of the Dalits, kept their problems in the limelight, improved their image.

Shivaji Maharaj is going back a long way. He would probably be totally indifferent to the idea. What need had he of an airport when there were hills and fortresses idenitified with his.

About Subhash Chandra Bose, I know very little. I can appreciate the emotional Bengali's attachment to him. He was quite a swashbuckling figure. On the whole, I think, he would have allowed his name to be used, though not out of any sense of self-importance.

Mr. Kamaraj, simple man that he was, would not have accepted. Though simple, he was shrewd, and would have known that an airport does not go with his image.

Mrs. Indira Gandhi would have accepted, 100 per cent. In her lifetime, whe allowed them to name the Bomay docks after her, so why would she object to the airport being named after her death!

As for Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, five years back he would have totally turned down proplsals to name anything after him. Not just that...he would have discouraged things being named after his mother or grandfather. But things have changed since then. Power, if you are not mature enough, can be extremely indigestible. If he were to come to know that there was a proposal to name an airport after him, and some minister or secretary turned down the proposal, he would see to it that that person was demoted. This unfortunately, is my reading.

Which, finally, brings me to Mr. J.R.D. Tata. There is a growing opinion to name the airport after him. And quite rightly so, he is the sole founder of civil aviation in India, but would he refuse the airport being named after him? I really do not know. At the last moment, he might concede. That would be a great and tragic disappoint.

 
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