Ram Guha's latest HT column -- That Family Feeling -- is about the wide gulf between Nehru's views and those of the
ruling Gandhi family on naming public projects after their family members. The contrast is between
[Jawaharlal Nehru] had taken a vow that in the case of any school, project, or programme started in memory of his father (Motilal Nehru) or his wife, he would not participate in its inauguration.
At last count, some 400 government initiatives, institutions, projects and programmes were named after either Nehru, Indira or Rajiv.
In editorializing on this contrast, Guha takes an oblique swipe:
Jawaharlal Nehru would surely have been appalled by this use (or misuse) of public money for furthering ancestor worship. His rectitude and propriety stands in striking contrast to the behaviour of later members of his family. But it stands in contrast to the attitude of most other Indians too. For instance, one of India’s best-known scientists actually attended the inauguration of a circle named after himself in Bangalore.
The later Nehru-Gandhis may think that the ubiquitous naming of programmes and places after members of their family is not much more than their due. But that distinguished men of science fall prey to such vanity is a sign of how far we have moved from the time of Jawaharlal Nehru. [Bold emphasis added].
Some of you may know that the traffic round-about in front of the main gates of IISc is called "Professor C.N.R. Rao Circle". I don't know what it was called earlier, but it took its new name in the late 1990s.