"Narendra Modi Stadium," Twitter Reminds After Khel Ratna Award Renamed

The renaming of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award comes in the week when hockey has returned to the limelight, thanks to the exceptional performances by the Indian men's and women's hockey teams at the Tokyo Olympics.

Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad was renamed Narendra Modi Stadium in February 2020.

New Delhi:

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award - the highest sporting honour in India - has been renamed after hockey legend Dhyan Chand, social media users welcomed the move, saying sporting awards should be named after sportspersons and not politicians. The internet, however, was quick to point out a cricket stadium named after the Prime Minister.

Several users, including opposition leaders, called for the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to be renamed after a sportsperson.

It was in February 2020 that the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, popularly known as Motera Stadium, was renamed after PM Modi who was a president of the Gujarat Cricket Association. It is the world's largest cricket stadium.

Welcoming the renaming of the sporting award, cricketer Irfan Pathan said, "Hopefully in the future sports stadium names will be after sportsmen too."

"Great decision by Modi Govt to rename Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. Now I hope they can rename Narendra Modi Stadium and Jaitley Stadium also. Remove all politician names," YouTuber Dhruv Rathee said.

The YouTuber's second reference was to the cricket stadium in Delhi; Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium was renamed after  former union minister Arun Jaitley in 2019, after his death. He had been a president of the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA).

Gujarat opposition leader Shankersinh Vaghela tweeted, As @narendramodi Govt renamed Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, I would like to request them to rename Narendra Modi Stadium to Sardar Patel Stadium again."

The renaming of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award comes in the week when hockey has returned to the limelight, thanks to the exceptional performances by the Indian men's and women's hockey teams at the Tokyo Olympics.

The men's team won their first Olympic hockey medal in 41 years, a bronze, and the women's team put forth its best-ever performance in the Games, finishing a creditable fourth.

Dhyan Chand is widely regarded as the greatest player in hockey. In his career that spanned from 1926 to 1949, he clinched Olympic medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936.