Resentment is brewing in Gujarat over the name of the Narendra Modi Stadium where the 50-over World Cup final was held. Surat-based Patidar community has led a movement to associate Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel with the cricket stadium in Motera again. They are determined to change the name of the world’s largest cricket stadium from Narendra Modi Stadium to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Iron Man of India.
The stadium in Motera was called the Sardar Patel Stadium before it was renamed as Narendra Modi Stadium, with a spectator capacity of over a lakh.
In this regard, the community has convened a meeting of all district conveners. It will be held on December 30.
The movement, initiated by Sardar Samman Sankalp Andolan Samiti-Gujarat, will start from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s hometown Karamsad in a planned manner.
Pamphlets are being distributed to add heft to the revolt.
Mithilesh Amin, chairman of Sardar Samman Sankalp Andolan Samiti-Gujarat, told The Vibes of India, “The present authorities have removed the name of Sardar Vallabbhai Patel and added the name of the Prime Minister to please him.
“It is an insult to the Iron Man. We demand that Sardar Patel’s name should be re-inscribed with honour on the biggest stadium in the world. To achieve this, we have started the Sardar Samman Sankalp movement from Sardar Sahib’s hometown, Karamsad. A Patidar Panchayat has been organised for it. Patidar leaders from across Gujarat will attend it and support our fight for Sardar Sahib’s honour.”
He added that the fight, which has the backing of “many big Patidar leaders of the state”, was for self-respect and self-esteem.
It is worth mentioning that the Sardar Memorial Bhavan located in the Shahibaug area of Ahmedabad presents an overview of Sardar Sahib’s life. Many of his belongings and souvenirs are preserved here. Sardar Sahib’s death anniversary falls on December 15.
The stadium is steeped in history. Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar got to his 10,000 Test run here. Kapil Dev overhauled Richard Hadlee as Test’s leading wicket-taker on this ground. Remains to be seen whether the movement achieves something fruitful.