Modi, the prime minister and Modi, the politiciantext_fields
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has returned after completing his two-day visit to Kerala. The Prime Minister's main official agenda was the dedication of the Central government's projects, especially INS Vikrant, which is the pride of the country. Also, he initiated party programs in Kerala to fulfil the goals set by the BJP during the Hyderabad National Conference. An examination of what Narendra Modi, who stood shining as Prime Minister and political leader, reminded the Malayali and left unsaid clearly reveals the political leader in him. Cochin Shipyard and the Indian Navy have fulfilled the decades-long dream of the country to have an indigenously developed state-of-the-art aircraft carrier warship.
The dream come true project that commenced in 1999 with its design was beautifully accomplished by Cochin Shipyard with the completion of its construction in December 2020. Indeed, the Prime Minister's words that Vikrant is a symbol of India's hard work, talent, and commitment literally represent all those who have worked for it. The fact that the vast majority of raw materials used for building the ship are domestically produced and that this world-class project was successfully carried out by a public sector organization refutes many of the corporate capitalist arguments about development. The prime minister's mention that we are advancing in the path of developed countries in view of the Vikrant achievement, but hiding the fact that this achievement was made possible through a non-capitalist development model, cannot be thought of as accidental. The construction history of the INS Vikrant provides an answer to the corporate development frenzy and the government's support for it even as the coastal people are raising protests against the Vizhinjam port built by the Prime Minister's close friend Adani for private capital interests.
The cleverness of the politician hiding in the Prime Minister is evident in his promise that Kerala has one lakh crore rupees from the infrastructure development projects to be implemented in the country in the next 25 years. It also contains within it the sales pitch for corporations in the name of large-scale development. There is no doubt that multimodal connectivity and infrastructure development, which were outlined by the Prime Ministe, are pre-requisites for sustainable transport growth and are highly beneficial systems for the people. If such connectivity becomes a reality, it will not only be a permanent solution to Kochi's traffic congestion, but the nearby small towns will also become satellite towns of Kochi Metro and the sphere of development will widen. But central and state governments are yet to clarify whether the announced plans have such long-term vision. The stark truth is that the attractive development visions presented in speeches do not get actualised when they become a reality. Even when we are talking big about multi-connectivity, the reciprocity between Nedumbassery Airport and the Metro, which should be given the highest priority, is being left out in the second phase development agenda of the Metro.
At the BJP public meeting and the visit to the Adi Shankara temple, the Prime Minister turned into a full-fledged politician, Modi. One can read Modi's strategy to stimulate Hindutva politics in Kerala through his speeches, attire, and overall appeal. The data of double engines and developments in his speeches, meanwhile, are exaggerated. These are always used by Modi, the politician. It is just that he repeated this in Kerala too. The administration of the BJP governments in Gujarat since 1995 has made it clear how false the claim of development in BJP-ruled states is. After privatizing the national highways, the claim that Rs 55,000 crore has been set aside for them also has a layer of falsehood. In short, the two-day visit confirmed again that the politician in Modi cannot be hidden by the Prime Minister in Modi.