Friday, October 02, 2009

Names fly: BIA is KIA

Names fly: BIA is KIA

October 1st, 2009
By Our Correspondent

Bengaluru, Sept. 30: “We are landing at Kempe Gowda International Airport. This is the pilot speaking. The outside temperature is 23 degree Celsius. Have a pleasant stay in Bengaluru...”
A year and a half since it began operations, Bengaluru International Airport is set to be officially re-named after Kempe Gowda, who founded Bendakaluru — the city of beans — in 1537. A formal inauguration and installation of the 16th century chieftain’s statue at the entrance of the terminal building is expected
The move comes after an unofficial survey by the government found the name had overwhelming popular appeal, somewhat forcing Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's hand, despite it being a half-nod towards the powerful Vokkaliga community, traditionally ranged against the ruling party.
Some of the names that didn't make the cut? Tipu Sultan, M. Visveswaraya, S. Nijalinagappa, Basaveshwara and B.R. Ambedkar.
The Vokkaligara Sangha is ready with the 13-feet, 3,550-kg bronze statue of Kempe Gowda, currently housed at sculptor B.C. Shivakumar’s workshop in Rajarajeshwarinagar. The sculptor with the assistance of five others worked on the statue for over two years. All that is needed now is for the cabinet to clear the proposal, and a final nod from the ministry of civil aviation.


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