India has renamed the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a transfer that has drawn quick reward and criticism.
The title change to the Narendra Modi Stadium was unveiled on the 132,000-seat venue, previously referred to as Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, within the western state of Gujarat, on Wednesday.
The title change got here as India took on England within the third match of a four-game Take a look at sequence – and the house workforce marked the event by dominating the opening day.
A gifted orator and consummate populist, Modi is by far the preferred and recognisable politician in India, and gained a second time period in energy with an elevated majority for the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) in 2019.
However Modi has additionally been accused of centralising energy on this planet’s largest democracy.
“World’s largest stadium devoted to the world’s largest persona!,” Priti Gandhi, a BJP spokeswoman, mentioned in a tweet.
Others mentioned the choice mirrored a cult of persona surrounding Modi.
“The folks of Gujarat won’t bear this insult to Sardar Patel,” mentioned Hardik Patel, president of the opposition Congress get together within the state.
Patel was India’s first inside minister, lengthy revered for his powerful strategy on nationwide points. Authorities have named the bigger complicated surrounding the stadium after him.
Dedicating sports activities stadiums to former prime ministers is widespread in India, however renaming such a high-profile venue for a sitting chief is uncommon.
Lots of India’s public establishments and tasks have been named after members of the Congress’ Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that ruled India for many years and which Modi’s get together lengthy criticised because the dominance of 1 household.
“Each the BJP and Congress are busy perpetuating political branding,” Sanjay Jha, a former Congress official and political commentator, mentioned.
Archit Khare, a 29-year-old scholar on the recreation, mentioned: “I do not know why it has been modified. Sardar Patel is extra iconic. Sardar Patel was the iron man of India, it ought to have remained.”
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