In one of most strange decisions, the newly revamped Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, has been renamed as Narendra Modi Stadium. The new stadium was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday. The ground, which was earlier named the Sardar Patel Stadium, and more popularly known as the Motera stadium, has been renamed after the prime minister, who was also formerly a president of the Gujarat Cricket Association. It is ironic that the stadium has been renamed after a man who is still alive and whose tenure has come under scrutiny for the rise of right wing politics and attack on minorities. PM Modi is a deeply divisive figure.
Minorities along with Dalits and liberals have been facing the brunt of the extreme right wing ideology of the present regime. Also, this whole act of renaming the stadium after PM Narendra Modi exposes the BJP’s double standard. The saffron party has always opposed the move of the Congress to name sports stadiums in memory of former PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. The BJP also accused the Congress of ignoring Sardar Patel. It is a well-known fact that both Rajiv and Indira Gandhi died brutal deaths and sacrificed their lives for the nation. But PM Modi is still alive and till now there is deep division over his legacy. Therefore the question arises: is it okay to name a stadium in the name of a person who is alive and whose name generates fear among certain sections of society?