Panaji, Jan 24 IANS | 6 months ago

Naming a multi-purpose indoor stadium specially constructed for the Lusofonia Games 2014 after Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder-ideologue of the BJP's forerunner Bharatiya Jana Sangh, has triggered a controversy in Goa.


The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Friday submitted a memorandum to the North Goa district collector, claiming that naming the stadium after Mookerjee was an attempt to "secretly implement RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) agenda and disturb the communal harmony of Goa".

"The Nationalist Congress Party, therefore, requests your goodself to uphold the democratic values of secularism and defeat the unholy design of the communal virus to saffronise sport and education at the Goa University Campus (where the stadium is located)," the petition signed by state NCP president Nilkanth Halarnkar said.

The stadium, inaugurated earlier this month, hosts basketball and volleyball matches for the Portuguese Commonwealth Games -- the Lusofonia Games -- which are being currently held in Goa.

The NCP claims that the motto of the Lusofonia Games was "Unity in Diversity", something it claims Mookerjee had opposed, especially with respect to Jammu and Kashmir.

"The very motto of the Lusofonia 'Unity in Diversity' seems to be defeated by the Goa chief minister by naming the multipurpose indoor stadium after Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder member of then Jana Sangh and now Bharatiya Janata Party which stands for a totalitarian attitude," the petition reads, demanding renaming of the stadium.

Mookerjee, once a cabinet minister in Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's government, had opposed giving special status to Kashmir. Owing to differences, he was forced to leave the ministry and formed his own party, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

(Posted on 24-01-2014)