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Open Letter to Metroman, E Sreedharan

P. A. Chacko P. A. Chacko
01 Mar 2021

Hello Mr. Sreedharan,

Your decision to enter politics formally as a BJP rightwing acolyte may be within your right as a citizen of India. I believe no one should have any issue with it. 

You say you are vibrant and have something to contribute to the development of Kerala even when you are in the twilight years of your life at 88.  The numerous  channel interviews you have given as a sprouting politician only reveal  your eagerness to get more laurels and bouquets even before the bouquets of the technocrat in you wither away.  

However, your desire to grab the chair of the Chief Minister in Kerala has raised many an eyebrow wondering if you are not living in fool’s paradise.  Because those who know you at close quarters see zero politician in you. They opine that your wanting to wade into uncharted waters may carry you down into the canyons of murky politics, a world where your moral compass may go haywire. 

Your interview with Burkha Dutt has brought out your many facets that propel you to don the saffron robe as a politician.  Burkha’s journalistic stroke was brilliant for its navigating the contours of your thought vibrations. You revealed your devotion to your ‘Guru’ Modi as something that you began to cultivate from Gujarat onwards. You contributed to his model of development with your technocratic expertise. It appears that you are eager to copy and paste Gujarat model of development in Kerala because you think Kerala is in the dark ages with regard to development. 

Gujarat’s ‘quantum jump’ in growth rate from 2002-2003 to 2010-12 under Chief Minister Narendra Midi’s espousal of neoliberal politics was much advertised. There were unprecedented rise in incentives and subsidies to the corporate sector, easy access to bank credit, sales tax subsidies, heavy subsidies on land, subsidized water supply and natural resources which benefitted the corporate world. Analysts point out that the result was the state was left with limited funds for education, health, environment and employment for the masses.

They say that such was ‘the truth behind the Gujarat Growth model. Do you want, Sreedharan, to impose such top-heavy technocratic model on Kerala? Make no mistake; you will get drowned in the tsunami of the common man and woman’s dissenting voice and probing questions. Kerala is not Gujarat, man! Technocracy-backed development is one thing and Human development index is another thing. 

Keralites will not stomach any lies and stupid promises dished out to them. They have had enough of them from political pundits and so-called ‘Gurus’ whose promise of Rs. 15 lakhs in every citizen’s pocket is still rotting at the gate of the Swiss bank!

The saffron-dyed contours of your philosophy are too prominent to be neglected. Inter-caste marriages (‘love-jihad’ in saffron language) and people’s personal choice of food are not to your taste. You call the murderous acts of lynching mobs in the name of ‘go mata’ ‘scattered incidents’. You will straighten people with the magic wand of ‘peace’ which you say is the culture of India and the culture of Hindu religion. How come the Apostle of Peace was done to death by Godse the Hindu extremist? Your tongue in cheek argument can be that it was a ‘one time’ incident just as you white-wash lynching acts and rightwing terror as isolated occurrences. Isn’t there a glaring contradiction between the pacifist in you and the avowed rightwing nationalist in you?

When the Sangh Parivar has condemned its members, aged beyond 75, to oblivion, do you think you are greater than seasoned political heavyweights like Advani and Joshi who are put on the backburner? Ambition and aspiration are two different things. At your age, instead of wanting to catch the falling star, it would be profitable to aspire to use your remaining energy to start a counselling course to aspiring technocrats and bureaucrats on how-to be men and women of integrity in profession. Such an exercise will be worthwhile contribution to the nation’s development. 

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