Since yesterday, there has been much hue and cry about the renaming of Motera stadium as Narendra Modi stadium. The left-liberal intelligentsia and the Congress party leaders have since then started spreading the news that the stadium was renamed from Sardar Patel Stadium to Narendra Modi stadium, which is fake.
But the truth is that the entire complex, which includes a hockey stadium and many other sports facilities, is still named Sardar Patel Sports Enclave, while the Motera Stadium’s name has been changed to Narendra Modi Stadium.
Moreover, as far as PM Modi’s contribution to the revival of Sardar Patel’s legacy and the Congress’s disrespect for the former Deputy Prime Minister is concerned, everyone knows the facts, so there is no point in re-emphasising the same.
The stadium is owned by the Gujarat Cricket Association, whose former president is Amit Shah, and the current management decided to name the Ahemdabad based stadium as Narendra Modi Stadium. Given the fact that the Gujarat Cricket Association is an independent body, affiliated with BCCI which is registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act of 1975 and is not a government body, it free to name the stadium after whoever it wants.
So, as far as the legality of renaming the stadium after PM Modi is concerned, it is completely legal. Had it been a body under the Union government or the state government, there would have been some conflict of interest but still not an entirely illegal decision.
Now coming to the symbolism behind the renaming, most of the large structures around the world, be it airports, stadiums, dams, or bridges – all have been named after some political leaders or other people who have contributed immensely to public or private life. Narendra Modi has been the Chief Minister of Gujarat four times and this is his second term as Prime Minister of the country.
Moreover, PM Modi is undoubtedly the most popular leader India has ever seen in recent history. His popularity spread across the length and breadth of the border of India, and even among the Indian diaspora, like no leader of the country in recent history.
So, for the 6.5 crore people of Gujarat, it is a matter of great pride that one of their own is on the highest decision-making chair of the country for more than six years.
Make a simple analysis of the number of Lok Sabha seats BJP won in Gujarat in 2014 and 2019 vs what it won in 2009, 2004, or the general elections before that. In most of the elections before 2014, Congress won around half of the seats (varied between 10 to 14 out of 26), but in the 2014 general election, it got zero while BJP won all. It was all because of PM Modi’s stronger leadership in Gujarat and his charisma.
Congress always had a very strong presence in the state, and even in the last few decades when it was wiped out of states like UP and Bihar, it maintained a respectable tally in Gujarat. In the 2017 assembly election, the party won 77 seats, only 15 short of the majority while BJP won 99, just 9 more than the majority mark, that too because of Prime Minister Modi’s last moment campaign.
Even in the 2019 general elections, the people of Gujarat extended full support to Prime Minister Modi’s re-election with the BJP registering victory on all seats. This was because Gujarat loves Prime Minister Modi and respects him for what he is doing for the country.
Therefore, for them, naming a stadium after the person who represents their ‘asmita’, is a matter of honour, and Prime Minister Modi is gracious enough to accept that honour.
All this hullaballoo around the renaming is the usual stuff of the left-liberal intelligentsia as a ritual at regular time-interval. But the hullaballoo will soon get over and the liberals too will move to other topics through which they can target the Modi government and the Prime Minister, but this site must not be swayed away by this.