Will Modi’s Kerala visit help create a Hindu vote bank in the state?

published on April 28, 2013

Kerala’s ruling and opposition parties unite to deride India’s most successful CM

The recent visit to Kerala of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has exposed the anti-Hindu nature of all political parties operating in the state, except the BJP.

Afraid of annoying the all-powerful and highly organized ‘minorities’ of Kerala and losing their solid vote banks, all political parties in Kerala, with the exception of the BJP, vied with each other to deride the immensely successful Modi, just because he was the chief minister of Gujarat when Hindus in his state reacted spontaneously to a gruesome act of Islamic terror in 2002.

Neither Oommen Chandy, Kerala’s Christian CM of the Congress party nor any minister in the present UDF coalition state government, bothered to show the courtesy of receiving the highly successful Gujarat CM at Thiruvananthapuram airport. Worse, almost all of them made noises in front of TV cameras against Modi with the aim of pleasing their Muslim and Christian partners in the UDF government and their solid anti-Hindu vote banks.

Oommen and his Christian finance minister K M Mani of the almost wholly Christian Kerala Congress Party were cautious in their negative comments about Modi, a caution typical of their calculating co-religionists. They must have thought, “Who knows, we may have to shake hands with Modi when he becomes India’s prime minister in 2014. So let us not make too much noise.”

But the Congress Party’s Kerala secretary Ramesh Chennithala held forth in front of TV cameras against “Modi’s anti-minority policies” with the naivete typical of Hindus. Despite being a Hindu, Chennithala used more words against Modi while his cunning Christian colleagues in the government and party were more cautious.

Pinarayi Vijayan, secretary of the Kerala unit of the communist CPM party, exposed the deep anti-Hindu animus of the reds by railing loudly against the monks of the Shivagari Mathom who had invited Modi to their ashram. The wolf-like Pinarayi, who has the blood many political workers (including that of his own CPM) on his hands, even claimed that the Shivagiri Mathom has a ‘secular character’ (whatever that means) and warned the monks not to spoil that character. Readers should note that Pinarayi has never ever claimed that any church or mosque has a secular character, probably because the men in long white frocks and bearded mullahs would soon deny it if he ever dared to make such a claim.

None of the political leaders of Kerala’s ruling UDF coalition, who so shamelessly lick the boots of the rulers of the Gulf countries (no doubt under pressure from the fanatic Muslim League, a partner in the ruling coalition), bothered to show the minimum courtesy to the chief minister of a state where no less than 1.3 million Malayalis are employed. Their reaction to Modi’s Kerala visit was thus also a slap in the face of their own brethren in Gujarat, whose votes of course don’t count in their native state. But the honoured guest did not fail to praise the diligence of the large number of Malayalis that his state hosts.

In his speech at Shivagiri, Modi rightly lamented that, while social untouchability in Kerala (which the great Swami Vivekananda had criticized) had disappeared, political untouchability continue to be practiced by almost all parties in the state. He was referring to the total unanimity among Kerala’s political rivals in excluding the BJP from any alliance.

The monks of the Shivagiri Mathom deserve praise for daring to invite Modi to a state whose the atmosphere has the strong stench of minorityism and anti-Hinduism. Perhaps it is their way of telling Kerala’s politicians that, even if the state’s hapless Hindus have almost no friends at all among them, they do have one well-wisher at least in far-away Gujarat.

But the mathom and SNDP, which runs the ashram, must take their initiative further by talking to the BJP and the NSS to create a Hindu vote bank that includes all castes to break the stranglehold of Muslims, Christians and communists on Kerala politics. Both SNDP and NSS are today led by people with some political savvy. If they can ensure that a sizeable chunk of Hindus in Kerala vote for the BJP in the national elections in 2014, they will have not only helped end the current political destitution of Hindus in Kerala but also helped put the non-corrupt and dynamic Modi on the throne in New Delhi. If that happens, the same Kerala politicians who derided Modi on his recent visit to the state, will form a long queue to welcome him at Thiruvananthapuram airport. Let us all hope that day will come next year.

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