Monday, November 23, 2009

Adventure 47

Name Place Animal Thing

As a nation, we do not do much to commemorate our heroes. The best way to do that is to rename great institutions and cities after them. Just like Washington D.C., Ho Chi Minh City and the erstwhile Leningrad, we must also rename our cities to honor our legends. Thus, it is only just that the great city of New Delhi should be renamed Indiranagar. While Bombay has already been renamed Mumbai, even the new (old?) name does not reflect its true regal heritage. Thus, it must immediately renamed Shivajinagar, while Ahmedabad and Hyderabad would be better off being called Narendrapur and YSR Hi-Tech City. What do we do about cities like Guwahati, Indore and Bhopal? For want of any universally famous local heroes there, they must just be renamed Rajivpuri, Rajivabad and Rajiv Gandhi City respectively. Port Blair ( a British name) should be renamed Veer Savarkar Nagar after the great freedom fighter who was imprisoned in the Andamans during the freedom struggle, while Aurangabad (named after a fanatic Mughal tyrant) should be remembered as Sanjaynagar (after the great visionary Sanjay Gandhi) from now on. Other meaningless names could be changed to be named after Sai Baba, Sri Sri, Dhirubhai Ambani, Muthalik and Vijay Mallya.

Renaming is not only for cities. Few institutions of national importance have been named after prominent personalities. A few honorable exceptions are the Rajiv Gandhi IIM (Shillong) and the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science at Lucknow (Kanshi Ram Nagar?. As a start, each IIT could be renamed for its local flavor. IIT-Shivajinagar should be called the Thackeray Maharashtra Institute of Technology (TMIT) in honor of the great family, while the one at Kharagpur could be named after either Jawaharlal Nehru (JNIT) or Jyoti Basu (JBIT). The IIM at Kanshi Ram Nagar should be renamed Atal Behari Vyapar Vidyapeeth in honor of the great statesman. The IIM at Narendrapur could be aptly be called Advani Business School, with a special chair on Political Strategy, while other IITs and IIMs could choose different combinations of Rajiv, Feroze, Nehru and Indira or Savarkar, Patel, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee (depending on the rruling regime) to name themselves.

What about festivals? We commemorate Nehru's birthday as Children's Day and Radhakrishnan's as Teacher's Day. I suggest that a certain leader's birthday be designated as Love Day. On that day, migrants from all over the country would place a single hair on his photograph or idol - aptly calling it Love Day ke Bal.

Awards are another way to honor our heroes. In recognition of his prodigious sporting talent, the country's top sporting prize has been aptly called the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. Similarly, in recognition of his bailout of Amitabh Bachchan, the National Awards for films should be renamed the Amar Singh Puraskar. The first recipients of the Amar Singh Puraskar could be the legend of yesteryear - Jayalalitha. Murali Manohar Joshi. The Bhatnagar award for scientific excellence could be topped (just as the Rajiv Khel Ratna topped the Arjuna Award) by the Joshi Science Prize (Murli Manohar Joshi is a legendary physicist for the uninitiated). Political hatchets could be buried by instituting the Modi-Tytler Peace Prize which would be the Indian equivalent of Obama's Nobel, with estranged cousins Rahul and Varun sharing the first ever bestowment.

Jai Hind!

1 comment:

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