By S. Sivathasan –
As the ‘Rising Sun’ was reaching its twilight hours on 28th July, a movement for the redemption of the state took form and direction. Years of yearning and months of preparation, brought forth this impressive display of a pilgrimage to replace an era. Whose initiative? The national leadership of the BJP and the state leadership acting in concert. The latter lived up to its mission and the polity responded most exuberantly. What is the timeline? Lok Saba election final segment by May 2024. What is the target? Capture all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu and help BJP seize 400 seats at the centre. Seats in Delhi are for a third consecutive absolute majority for assured stability and steady growth. Monopoly status for BJP in Tamil Nadu is to burn the canker of corruption with a hot rod. Hence this demonstration of solidarity and purpose through a surge of humanity to conquer the hearts and minds of the voters.
Inaugural Meeting on 29th July – Amit Shah Minister of Home Affairs
The inaugural meeting had an inordinately huge crowd where the youth showed a marked preponderance. The Home Minister Hon. Amit Shah made an eloquent speech, calling on Tamil Nadu to create history by voting in the BJP to Lok Sabha. The En Mann En Makkal Padayatra is planned as a 168 – day event with a 1,700 km walk ending on 11th January 2024. Voters participating in the event will be in their millions, influencing and motivating further millions who will be drawn into political discussions from each one of the 234 electorates. Public meetings will be held in 10 venues with top leaders from Delhi and other states also addressing the huge crowds.
A significant highlight in the enlightening process is the distribution of a crore of books; the first one by Amit Shah ‘What Did Modi Do?’. Major achievements in India in nine years of Modi rule are presented therein. All states will benefit from such book distribution. A similar information onslaught ahead of the Lok Saba elections in April – May 2024 will follow. Amit Shah regretted his inability to address the audience in Tamil, the oldest living language in the world he said. A fine rendering in Tamil was however given sentence by sentence. It was noted that the massive crowd listened to the Home Minister’s oration most attentively.
He complimented the Prime Minister for speaking on the richness of the language, even with a quote from a Sangam classic. He has carried across this message to the UN, foreign countries and to the states of India. Shah announced the Prime Minister’s decision to translate Thirukkural, the reputed didactic work written 2000 years ago, into all the Indian languages. Most importantly he has an ambitious target of seeing this classic in 100 of the world’s languages. Already, translations are available in 20 languages, including in Sinhalese, thanks to a Sinhalese Buddhist monk. Modi has two other ambitious assignments: (1) Installing a statue of Thiruvalluvar in France and (2) dedicating Subramania Bharathi’s birthday December 11, as ‘Indian Languages Day’. Modi thereby honours two of the greatest Tamil poets.
The following evening, 29th July was fixed for the launch of En Mann En Makkal Padayatra led by the BJP State President Annamalai and a former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan. The assemblage in Rameswaram was as large as to befit the occasion. Amit Shah said Rameswaram was a symbol of Hindu faith and proclaimed the richness of the heritage. He added that Padayatra was not a mere political event. Annamalai was starting it with the grace of Ramanatha Swamy. It will earn the respect of 1.3 billion Indians. More importantly it is aimed at destroying Family Rule in Tamil Nadu, restore law and good governance and release the state from the suffocating evils of bribery and corruption.
Elevation on Merit
The Home Minister alluded to the disreputable practice of establishing family rule in Tamil Nadu and this has spread to many other states as well. Karunanithy wanted Stalin to succeed him and this has happened. Apart from one son, the elder one was made a Union Minister in Delhi through undue influence. So also a nephew and later a grand-nephew. Shah mentioned a list of states where several incumbent chief ministers were adopting the same repugnant process of grooming their progeny for high positions in the states. This was greatly resented by the parties that were outside the fold. Shah emphasized that BJP stood firmly by the democratic principle of merit and hard work which alone should qualify political aspirants to rise to the highest positions in coveted positions discarding the pernicious propensity to blood kinship.
Modi Achievements in Nine years
The office of Chief Minister Gujarat, preceded Modi’s ascendancy to the highest Executive Office of Prime Minister. Financial inadequacies in the states drove home the point that particularly in a federal country, enhanced devolution grants from the centre to all states were essential. About seven years ago he made the change to substantially increased grants and financial teeth were given to devolved powers. Shah made the point that the UPA government of which DMK was a part, showed pedestrian performance while the BJP spent 3 times their amount.
In a similar manner in several other fields too, the BJP has helped bring in heavy investments. In electronics manufacture as much Rs.1 trillion is invested. The Defence Corridor encompassing Chennai, Trichi, Coimbatore, Hosur and Salem, has attracted Rs.10 trillion worth of investment benefitting the nation in export increases and import reductions. Tamil Nadu has profited by technology inflows and higher strength in skilled employment.
To develop health services exponentially, Modi had approved 11 medical colleges at one stroke. To help all citizens with good health care, Health Insurance to the tune of Rs.5 lakhs for a family has been introduced. Modi most sensitive to the needs of the poorer sections for clean water has provided pipe borne water to their homes. Beneficiaries are 8.6 million people. To give dignity to women folk in the weaker sections of society, free toilets were provided to 6.2 million households. Another unconventional yet most useful tool put into the hands of the poor was, opening of Bank Accounts. The number benefitting was 13.1 million from ease of financial transactions and thwarting corrupt practices.
Modi has sustained his fight against corruption for 9 years with full credibility. UPA administration was there for 10 years, but people remember only 2G scandal, corruption in coal deals, helicopter deals and ISRO deals. The courageous action of surgical strike going into Pakistan territory was ridiculed by Congress. Rahul called it a non-event. Worse still, patriotic actions of Modi government such as abolition of Article 370 were opposed by UPA and DMK. Today Kashmir is a de facto Indian state Amit Shah asserted. With over three years of multi-dimensional development; Kashmiris have seen infra structure, social advancement and economic growth he further emphasized.
Home Minister Amit Shah spoke convincingly with his forceful oratory on the above and much more. On the first day 28th July, he started the event. The Padayatra was set moving with a fine speech on 29th with a clarion call for 39 seats to Lok Saba from Tamil Nadu.