From Rajiv Gandhi to Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. What’s in a name? Plenty

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From Rajiv Gandhi to Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. What’s in a name? Plenty
From Rajiv Gandhi to Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. What’s in a reputation? A lot

Sanjay Jha

Final week, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi dramatically tweeted that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award was being renamed Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, it was a manifestation of an orchestrated BJP programme to step by step obliterate the Gandhi household from nationwide occasions of import and a number of other infrastructure initiatives that adorn their celebrated surname

Politicians are a particularly insecure bunch. Please don’t be fooled by their rugged macho speeches, all fireplace and brimstone, and their muscular predilections. They reside their whole lives worrying about what individuals take into consideration them, an comprehensible quagmire in a democracy the place it’s the fashionable sentiment alone that may present them a sustainable future. However for a few of our main nationwide famous person leaders, it borders on a visceral paranoia. It’s like these adolescent somethings frantically monitoring their ‘likes’ on Instagram after posting a selfie the place they’re pouting prettier than Priyanka Chopra. A politician’s narcissism may be deleterious. And the fears, deep.

Final week, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi dramatically tweeted that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award was being renamed Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, it was a manifestation of an orchestrated BJP programme to step by step obliterate the Gandhi household from nationwide occasions of import and a number of other infrastructure initiatives that adorn their celebrated surname.

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Extra to observe

Within the run-up to the 2024 common elections, count on extra such headline-grabbing tableaus, because it fits the BJP narrative of concentrating on the Congress get together as a non-public household fiefdom that had openly monopolised the branding of state establishments and public belongings of their favour. There may be, after all, partial benefit within the argument however that’s solely a part of the concocted propaganda. There may be extra to it than meets the attention.

It’s true that the Congress went berserk in naming each conceivable concrete construction and delicate energy play (starting from expressways, worldwide airports, instructional establishments, state-funded programmes and so forth.) after the Gandhi household, within the silly perception that they had been assured of everlasting energy. This significantly turned stratospheric when the tradition of sycophancy throughout the Congress landed on Mars with out the necessity for an area capsule. It was a genuflection that the get together of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru might have accomplished with out.

The truth that a disproportionate variety of high-profile initiatives have been appropriated by the Congress leaders has riled the BJP, which has a pathological animus in direction of Nehru particularly, and his subsequent political lineage. Nevertheless, the very fact is that the Congress has ruled India, straight/not directly for 55 of the 74 years since Independence, and each ruling dispensation would logically have a bias in direction of its personal leaders.

‘New India’

Fashionable India at its core essence is a Congress-construct, forcing Modi to constantly hold forth on his grand imaginative and prescient of a ‘New India’ (principally, Hindutva Undiluted) which is nothing however hole grandstanding, as no one is aware of what meaning aside from RSS and BJP acolytes. However the BJP is making differentiation with the Congress’s model of Previous India, a front-burner on its political pitch.

Modi thought that he was killing two birds with one stone in renaming the long-lasting awards after the legendary hockey nice Dhyan Chand (he gained three Olympic gold medals). Apart from bankrupting the Gandhi title, it will sound churlish of the Congress to oppose it on the day when the Indian males’s hockey staff gained a bronze medal after a spot of 41 years in a spectacular comeback match in opposition to the formidable German staff.

Didn’t chunk the bait

Fortunately, the Congress didn’t succumb to Modi’s calculated gambit. It welcomed the renaming. However then it raised a pertinent query: Would Modi kindly get his title faraway from the just lately constructed Motera cricket stadium on this planet (the place Modi performed footsie with former US President Donald Trump final yr when the pandemic had already established a foothold on Indian soil)? Why did the BJP blatantly rename the Feroz Shah Kotla cricket stadium in Delhi after their controversial chief Arun Jaitley, who was mired in a number of corruption allegations if World Cup successful participant Kirti Azad is to be believed? Would the BJP be magnanimous sufficient to disengage the names of its RSS veterans and different get together stalwarts like Syama Prasad Mukherjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Sushma Swaraj and Manohar Parrikar from a number of establishments that demand independence from political branding? If the BJP agreed to this rational and truthful proposition, it will be each inside their basic rights and ethical custodianship to take away the names of Congress leaders since 1947. Up to now, the BJP’s silence on this clear negotiation proposal has been deafening. No response in any way. If the try was to ridicule the Gandhis for being overzealous of their naming spree, maybe this jaundiced act in haste has boomeranged on each Modi and the BJP.

Identify video games

It’s a bizarre irony if not downright farcical that whereas the title of a brutally assassinated former PM who died a valiant martyr for his nation is faraway from a prestigious award, the ruling PM arranges a monolithic stadium in his title, paying homage to the pre-World Warfare fascist period of cult politics. By the way, the Nationwide Stadium in Delhi and a number of other hockey stadiums carry the wonderful legacy of the nice Dhyan Chand. A greater concept would have been to present Dhyan Chand the Bharat Ratna or title a brand new particular award for Olympic medal-winners below his title. However then as Dr Shashi Tharoor accurately mentioned. “Mr Modi’s authorities just isn’t a game-changing however a name-changing one”.

Let the PM himself de-politicise the abuse of presidency platforms for public relations and vulgar publicity. What the Prime Minister should do is to right away order that his {photograph} is promptly faraway from Covid vaccination certificates. It’s reprehensible and a repugnant disgrace {that a} nation that has had over 400,000 deaths (reportedly could possibly be ten instances larger, at 4 million) on account of Covid (the Delhi HC had mentioned that folks accountable must be “booked for manslaughter”) is seeing a tasteless advertising spree amidst unspeakable horror and dismal tragedy. The federal government is boondoggling its personal harmless residents.

Will the BJP stroll the discuss, please?

The creator is former spokesperson of the Congress get together

We, the individuals should do it: Local weather debate should start on the grassroots degree

Bhavdeep Kang

Presenting dystopic visions of the longer term, fear-mongering, hectoring by environmentalists and data-heavy reviews by local weather scientists, are alienating. Then again, the ‘Chipko’ motion, whereas it lasted, touched tens of millions with its easy visuals of ladies hugging bushes to preserve forests. The purpose is that folks, not expertise, are on the centre of any local weather debate.

The late Anil Madhav Dave, India’s atmosphere minister from 2016-17, was recognized for biking to Parliament, “(not) to get reward or a photograph in a newspaper. I’m doing it by selection”. His level was that local weather change is, in the end, a matter of selection. It’s the sum of all of the every day selections we make, on what we want, why we purchase, how we journey and the place we get rid of waste. He was one of many few who acknowledged that efficient motion on local weather change needed to come from beneath.

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For Dave, local weather change was actual, as a result of it affected his beloved Narmada. He might see “irresponsible human actions” lowering India’s oldest and most sacred river to a “cricket pitch” within the close to future. To achieve first-hand data of riverside communities and their challenges, he rafted down its 1,300km-length.

Greta has a degree

Few politicians are as dedicated. Teen activist Greta Thunberg might have burnt her fingers by naively weighing in on India’s farm legal guidelines, however makes a good level when she says international leaders have completely didn’t take local weather motion critically. They’re politicians, in spite of everything, and local weather change just isn’t a political difficulty in most nations of the world.

Geopolitical and home agendas push greenhouse gasoline emissions to the again of the queue. The sensational disclosures within the IPCC 2021 report are already off the entrance pages, the local weather disaster having given approach to issues of speedy second, like Covid-19, OBC politics and never the least, soccer legend Lionel’s Messi’s transfer to PSG.

The one factor that Covid-19 didn’t change, local weather scientists inform us, is the relentless enhance in carbon-dioxide ranges within the ambiance, which breached 419 ppm in Could 2021. Why didn’t the worldwide shutdown throughout the Covid-19 pandemic scale back CO2 ranges? Certainly, in response to the measuring website at Mauna Loa, “the primary 5 months of 2021 confirmed a 2.3 ppm enhance over the identical 5 months of 2020”.

Influence of GHG emissions

That’s what makes the affect of greenhouse gasoline (GHG) emissions much more scary. The worldwide warming gasoline sticks round. Even when international GHG emissions are drastically lower now, there’s no slowing down the juggernaut – common temperature will rise by 1.5° Celsius within the subsequent couple of a long time. It’s going to take constant inexperienced behaviour to place the brakes on warming to some extent the place the majority of humanity can survive. Again in 1970, science fiction creator Larry Niven speculated that people would evolve and adapt to the brand new atmospheric circumstances, however by then, billions would have been decimated.

The query of why, given alarming occasions like wildfires, heatwaves, cyclones, droughts, floods and so forth, local weather change just isn’t part of every day dialog, a lot much less of behaviourial decisions, has been requested again and again. Most individuals, not simply the climate-sceptics, fail to recognise that local weather change impacts them straight and requires speedy motion, lest it spiral into an extinction-level occasion.

The media has taken word, created atmosphere ‘beats’ and specialists, civil society and faculties are speaking ‘sustainability’ and eco-friendliness, communities and people are putting in photo voltaic panels and harvesting water, international leaders are selling inexperienced applied sciences and celebrating eco-warriors and in India, non secular leaders are preaching concord with nature. However it’s not sufficient; the tempo and high quality of the response each lack a way of urgency.

Folks should step up

Many cling to the naive perception that science will remedy the issue with magical applied sciences, like big ‘house mirrors’ to dam daylight, or large Azolla farms that can suck CO2 from the ambiance. The European Union conceived a capitalist resolution to a capitalism-induced downside, within the type of an emissions buying and selling system (EUETS), primarily based on the ‘polluter pays’ precept. It additionally meant that polluters might proceed to pollute. Within the phrases of the late environmentalist Anupam Mishra, “Yeh paap ka vyapaar hai (it is a commerce in sin)”. Not surprisingly, carbon buying and selling met with restricted success, although it did make a number of individuals very wealthy.

There’s no sense in blaming politicians or climate-sceptics – the push wants to come back from beneath, and the individuals have to take possession of the atmosphere. Solely then, as Dave mentioned, will behaviour skew in direction of limiting consumption of assets and perceiving air pollution as not merely unlawful however community-unfriendly and subsequently, socially unacceptable.

Altering the dialog in a means that evokes an emotional response, by movies, tales and interactions, is one chance. Presenting dystopic visions of the longer term, fear-mongering, hectoring by environmentalists and data-heavy reviews by local weather scientists, are alienating. Then again, the ‘Chipko’ motion, whereas it lasted, touched tens of millions with its easy visuals of ladies hugging bushes to preserve forests.

The purpose is that folks, not expertise, are on the centre of any local weather debate. Solely when the ‘samaj’ connects with local weather change will the media, social and in any other case, constantly and relentlessly red-flag environmental violations and impacts – drying of water sources, chopping of forests for ‘growth’, factories belching smoke, shoals of plastic on riverfronts and so forth. And solely then will strain construct up on international leaders to behave.

The author is a senior journalist with 35 years of expertise in working with main newspapers and magazines. She is now an impartial author and creator

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