Thursday, 17 July 2008

Ridiculous renaming: Call it Charan Singh Airport

Don't say Amausi Airport, now it's Chaudhary Charan Singh Havai Adda. That's what the government wants us to say because it needs the votes of late Charan Singh's son Ajit whose party has three MPs in the Lok Sabha.

That's politics, Simple and Obvious yet, so Obscene. Nothing wrong with a longish name and nobody disputes that Charan Singh was a mass leader. But it's pure opportunism.

Amausi sounded so simple and better. Just to placate Ajit Singh, the airport has been named after his father. In case any other party had got the numbers, any name of their choice would've done that.

Chaudhari Charan Singh has several institutes named after him. Already there is a Charan Singh University. Nobody will take the full name and eventually it will become CCSA, an abbereviation for Choudhary Charan Singh Airport.

But in process a name that carried a desi flavour has been sacrificed and replaced by a politician's name once again. It keeps happening everywhere in this country. Institutions become associated with Gandhis and Nehrus when Congress is in power or the names of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Deendayal Upadhyay when the BJP is in power.

Charan Singh, the Jat leader, did manage to bring diverse caste groups together in Uttar Pradesh and even became Prime Minister in the Janata Party government for nearly six months but his son, has almost lost the entire legacy.

He knows he stands no chance of becoming the Chief Minister of UP and has thus raised the pitch for Harit Pradesh. Ironically, his hold on the electorate in the Jat-dominated region has also weakened and his party is in a disarrary.

However, the nature of contemporary Indian politcs has again made him important. Especially, when the UPA government is facing a tough task of proving its majority on the issue of Nuclear deal with USA.

So the renaming of the airport will do good to just one man. His ego would swell everytime the plane would land on the airport, named after his father. And thinking that he managed to get it rechristened! That's Indian politics.

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