Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Name Game in Politics

To make it clear right away, Gandhi family here doesn't mean family of Mahatma Gandhi. I know there are many people in India, who think all these Gandhis starting from Indira Gandhi to the present Rahul & Priyanka Gandhi belong to the family of Mahatma Gandhi. So Gandhi family is different from the family of Mahatma Gandhi. 

Recently I was talking with my co workers who are from USA about India. One of them was saying to me "I think family of Gandhi is also very famous in India. Last time when I visited India I saw many airports and other things named after them". This made me explain him that those Gandhis are children and grand & great grand children of Nehru. But one thing struck me in his question. How many project, airports, stadiums or whatever are named after Gandhi family? I am not surprised to find that a major chunck of government projects, airports, sports stadiums and schemes were named after them. I wonder what these Gandhi family Prime ministers did differently to India than others except ruling for most of the time after independence.

The best example I can quote here is the state of Andhra Pradesh. Where most, nope I should say every government project was named after Rajeev Gandhi or Indira Gandhi. I cannot find one single reason why they did this, except to get blessing of INC president Sonia Gandhi. They renamed Ravinda Bharathi a prestigious auditorium to Rajeev Bharathi or so and after some opposition changed it to, Rajeev Ravindra Bharathi (wowww). Similarly renamed NTR airport to Rajeev Gandhi international airport. Others include Rajeev arogyasri  (Rajeev Gandhi Health Scheme), Indriamma illu (Indira Gandhi House Scheme), Rajeev Gruha Kalps, blah blah..... 

I know name might night be a thing to worry, but still these names remind our people, especially future generations that those great people who dedicated their life for the society. I really don't know what Rajeev or Indira gandhi did to the state of AP specifically. I wonder why they cannot name something after "Bhagath Singh", "Swami Vivekananda", "A.P.J.Abdul Kalam", "Alluri Seetarama raju", "Sarojini Naidu", "Mother Teresa", "Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan",  etc.. who should be remembered for their selfless work for the society. 

And one surprising thing here is there is no airport, stadium (there is one cricket stadium in Salem, Tamil Nadu which is named after Gandhi, but I think no one even knew that such stadium existed and it never hosted any international cricket match) or major government scheme named after Mahatma Gandhi or for that sake any other great leaders India had.  

Neither I am batting for Mahatma Gandhi here, nor I am against naming something after Gandhi family, but I don't think that they did something to the country which puts them before those great leaders. This naming spree comes alive when congress is in power. It's pathetic that a party which has 125 years of legacy and which produced some great leaders, always finds those few names in the naming option list.

The recent elections in Tamil Nadu serves as a fitting example for what happens when people gets vexed with corruption and family rule. Hope, they realize that a single family worship is not the right way to go ahead and doesn't promise bright future for a country with 1.2 billion population. 


  1. Well said !! But my humble suggestion to all our leaders, " If you continue with the Gandhi names for schemes and programmes, yes you can go, one will stop you ! but those should reach the people who are in need" It makes more sense for our freedom and the great leaders who fought for it.

  2. Yup, I agree that mere naming doesn't help. Schemes should reach the people.

  3. Point to be noted...Gandhi family has done something different to India than others...They spoiled it in a way it can't be recouped again. And I don't think this name mania which is a minor issue of many major issues can be avoided until the Gandhi Family is completely devoid of their power in Politics.

  4. I have seen only a single statue of Alluri Sitaramaraju in the whole lot of place I have travelled. But we encounter umpteen number of statues of all these corrupt politicians in our everyday life. That should raise serious concerns.

    A couple of generations later, it should not come as a surprise when your children tell their children that Indira or Rajiv Gandhi are the people who fought in Indian independence movement seeing after all these policies named after him.

    Who knew when Indira's husband changed his name from Ghandi to Gandhi that one small intelligent move led to such popularity...