Like it or not, our freedom fighters have few takers in this modern epoch. Consigned to history, the likes of Jaya Prakash Narayan (JP) have slipped into oblivion. Instead, modern day icons like MSD (Mahendra Singh Dhoni), Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh), Dada (Sourav Ganguly) and SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) have clearly overtaken the heroes of yesteryears in the modern ‘poster boy’ race.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) realised this only recently. Stung by its late realisation that the Jayaprakash Narayan International (JPNI) Airport in Patna did not have either a photograph or a bust of the renowned personality on whose name the airport is named, the authorities had a tough time scouting for JP’s photograph.
The realisation dawned upon its new Airport Director, Arvind Dubey, who took charge here in June. When Dubey tasked his men to get JP’s photograph, the job, as it turned out, was not as easy as he initially thought. His men took a good month to scan the State Capital for one.
“My people went around to several locations and met printers and publishers. They also tapped some renowned libraries, the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation, the Gandhi Sangrahalaya, etc. but were out of luck. Most printers were willing to oblige us with posters of Dhoni, Yuvraj, Ganguly and Shah Rukh Khan, but none had one of JP. Almost having resigned to fate, we finally approached JP’s residence-cum-museum in Kadamkuan. It was here that we got some god photographs of the revered leader,” said Dubey.
JP’s pictures now adorn the walls of the airport director’s office and the VVIP lounge inside the terminal building of the airport — 13 years after the airport was renamed after the late leader.
Better late than never!