Karnataka BJP MP Pratap Simha has demanded that the Nagarhole National Park and Tiger Reserve named after former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi be renamed after local war hero, late Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, the first Indian Army Commander-in-Chief.
“The name should be changed to Field Marshal Cariappa National Park and Tiger Reserve,” said Simha, BJP MP from the Mysuru-Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency. He had written a letter to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and state Forest Minister Umesh Katti for changing the name of the Nagarhole National Park.
The people of Kodagu (Madikeri) have started a campaign for renaming the Nagarhole National Park after their local hero.
In order to respect the heritage of valour and patriotism of the people in the region, the name of Rajiv Gandhi in the national park should be changed, Simha said in his letter.
“The Kodagu region has a rich history of contributing as many as 20 Major Generals and four Air Marshals to the Indian Army. Even today, 11 army officers hailing from this region occupy important posts in the Indian army. Considering the rich tradition of people, the district is called a ‘Land of Army Generals’,” the BJP MP added.
Madikeri district comprises a war memorial to respect martyrs of the Indian Army. A memorial in the name of Cariappa was inaugurated recently.
Field Marshal Cariappa, the first Army Commander-in-Chief, led the Indian forces on the western front during the India-Pakistan war of 1947. He was appointed the Army Commander-in-Chief in 1949.