Friday, March 18, 2005

Thyagaraja International Airport

Sonia Gandhi has laid the foundation stone for a new international airport in Hyderabad. This airport was planned during the previous NDA regime, and the present UPA ministry has decided to go ahead with the previous plan. There's a lot of controversy regarding the airport. The Left says that the plan envisaged is against the basic theme of the Common Minimum Programme. "The government has invested resources worth Rs 1,000 crore while the private partner has invested a mere Rs 250 crore. Yet, control has been given to the entrepreneur. In this era of competition, this deal smacks of monopoly", says CPI(M)'s Nilotpal Basu. According to him, it's enough to increase the infrastructural facilities of the existing airport, while the new plan shuts it down eventually.

Another controversy is regarding the name of the proposed airport. Previously the plan was to name it after NT Rama Rao, the legendary Telugu actor turned politician. The UPA govt has decided to name the airport after Rajiv Gandhi instead, and the opposition of course has objected to the renaming.

Yesterday Srinivasan Jain's NDTV programme -- Mumbai Live -- had a discussion about this issue featuring Renuka Chowdhury and Ram Guha. Renuka Chowdhury, who's a minister in the UPA govt, predictably defended the renaming. Ram Guha, again predictably, said naming the airport after Rajiv Gandhi only shows that the Congress party consists of a bunch of sycophants. Rajiv Gandhi was not a popular leader, said Guha. If he had won elections, he had lost elections too. Why do we need to name everything after politicians? These names only divide people, and we need to name institutions in an inclusive manner. Why aren't we more imaginative in these things? We should be coming up with names from the locality etc etc. All fine, right? How could one disagree?

Then came the joke. "Why not Thyagaraja, for instance?", asked Guha. Now I do not know how representative of Hyderabad, Thyagaraja is. I also wonder how "inclusive" a name that is. Ram Guha looked very serious with his suggestion though. Perhaps no one beats him when it comes to cracking a joke with a serious face. Perhaps he was serious.


At 7:39 AM, Blogger Pradeep said...

I can understand a difference of opinion over the naming, even though I think facilities at the airport should engage our attention much more than the name. Fine.
But what I couldn't just tolerate was the Lok Sabha session being disrupted over the issue!
No wonder foreigners make fun of us...

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Navin said...

Hi,first visit here courtesy Ravikiran's blog..

The controversy is indeed funny.In fact I cannot see why this should disrupt LS but considering how much work gets done in a paraliamentary session, this is no surprise.

About Guha's suggestion, Thyagaraja wrote all his thirukrutis in telugu. He has a deep connection with the language and the culture in AP. Specifically about Hyd, anything and everything could be named after NTR. But there is a park here called the KB Reddy Park which is quite a popular hangout for evening walks. The park was inaugurated by the then TDP govt. and is actually the name of a Cong. leader.

One can say - the TDP probably wants its pound of flesh now:)

At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

must say this is a classic case of hard facts (what nilotpal basu talks about for instance) struggling to get even cursory attention in public discourse and the media - which is obsessed with silly squabbles (locana got the order right by putting the renaming fracas firmly in second place).

thyagaraja SOUNDS an odd name for an international airport. this oddity is probably worth looking at from the viewpoint of some discipline like say, orientalist or post-colonial studies.

At 2:13 AM, Blogger kiran kumar Chava said...

It is not only with airport,

any govt organized event, or newly opened infractures are being named to Rajiv. Many of old names were renamed to Rajiv in this 10 years of YS rule.

Only one reason, to get the impression from Sonia and secure his CM post from fellow party friends?

Initially there is a great public interest of naming PV narsimha Rao name to airport, this reflected in local media, plebisites. But YS went ahead and neglected PV, because Sonia doesn't like him ?

TDP as a regional party want to make this for their own profit.

I would love to see a name Sata vahana, tyagaraaja, annamayya, anything othere than Rajiv, because I don't find any other reason other than slavary of our CM to Sonia. : (

At 6:25 PM, Blogger blokes said...

Please do forward the following name options to the concerned department: Vijayanagara, Nizam, Chaarminar, Seethaphal, Pearl, Ghonkura, PV Narasima Rao ityaadi ithyaadi!

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i personally think TDP's rule was better than the present CONGRESS' rule.i don't see no reason why they name their projects after INDIRA GANDHI,AND RAJIV GANDHI,who don't even belong to A.P.

it is better they get creative now,otherwise they have to face the wrath of telugu people in the next elections.

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Vemana International Airport' , named after the great Telugu poet Vemana would be ideal.


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