Moving the Aero India show from Bengaluru to Lucknow — as the Modi government is reportedly considering — is a bad idea that will not only hurt India’s economic interests but also deepen the sense of grievance developing in the southern states. Political leaders in Karnataka have already come out strongly against the move.
It is wholly unnecessary to move this global event out of Bengaluru in order to promote economic development in Uttar Pradesh. Given the massive growth projections for India’s defence and aerospace sectors, it is unfathomable why the defence ministry should think in zero-sum terms.
Why not organise an entirely new and different event in Lucknow? Given the plans to set up a defence industrial corridor in Uttar Pradesh, there might be a case for a big industry event. It just doesn’t have to come at Bengaluru’s expense.