Never before had Sivagiri, the mutt founded by Kerala's great social reformer Sri Narayana Guru , seen a human sea as it did on Wednesday when the BJP strongman Narendra Modi arrived on invitation of the mutt sanyasis.
Thousands lined up en route to Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram and millions milled around the venue. "This kind of enthusiastic crowd had never gathered in this mutt before. It could only be because of Modi," said Swami Rithumbarananda, general secretary of the Mutt. He had clarified that he had also invited Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, A k Antony but none of them replied. Modi accepted it.
But the ‘show of protests' by the Leftist leaders with the ruling Congress-led UDF joining it in a muted mode outshone the crowd. The whole of media, especially the television, deliberately kicked up a maelstrom over the Modi visit, after arranging doctored news bulletins and ‘debates' by the self-styled secularist corps which abound in the God's Own Country.
The base level of calumny the CPM and its leaders unleashed could be gauged from the fact that CPM posters appeared calling Modi "Naradhaman Narendra Modi"(killer Modi). "What a tragedy! What a shame!" remarked a passerby after reading the posters.
The Leftist contention was that Modi desecrated the hallowed precincts of Sivagiri mutt which was founded as a protest by the lower castes against Brahminical hold. But these protesters were ignorant of the fact that Modi himself belongs to a backward caste-- if one comes to that.
"Their aim is to consolidate the minority votes," said the BJP state president V Muralidharan. "Who gave these people powers to dictate to sanyasis of a Mutt?" he wanted to know.
While the leftists were giving full-throated protests and calling Modi names, the Muslim League, a dominant ruling partner and Congress leaders kept a discreet silence, giving the field to the Leftists. The ruling UDF has used its wisdom, not to ruffle the feathers of a dominant OBC, the Ezhavas, to which Guru belonged.
Modi, skilfully, steered clear of any politics, rather said world today faced two main problems, "terror and global warming." He extolled Guru's teaching of ‘one caste, one religion, one god for human race" and said if only the world listened to him, it would have been a better place to live in today.
At the end, none of the worthies realised what the sanyasis' smart move was. The Mutt appealed to the Gujarat chief minister a plot to set up Sivagiri mutt in Gujarat. Modi has accepted it in principle. Last heard, the Mutt is going to get a foothold in Gujarat. Smart people do not need weapons to pull off a coup, do they?