The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned out to be an unparalleled and unforgettable event in the history of Kochi. PM landed at the Naval Airport in Willingdon Island, Kochi, at 5 pm on April 24. From there, he drove to Perumanoor junction and alighted from his vehicle. From the junction, PM, clad in Kerala’s traditional dress of golden-bordered mundu, walked to the Sacred Heart College grounds, the venue of YUVAM 2023, the youth conclave for the youths between the age of 17 to 35.
Thousands of party workers, both men and women, of all age groups and thousands of non-BJP men lined up on either side of the 1.8 km long road. Despite the controversial threat letter and leakage of the Police Security plan, his walk on the road surprised everyone. Enthusiastic, people lined up on either side, and shouted the slogan “Jai Jai Modiji”. They had come to Kochi from different districts of the State to have a glimpse of their beloved PM. The only mantra surfing at the bottom of their hearts was the ‘development of their state and the entire country.’
The people showered flowers of all sorts on their icons. Gujarati women played Dandiya raas on the roadsides. Malayali women played their traditional Thiruvathira kali. PM walked sans the presence of the party leaders.
Then the PM entered Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, the venue of YUVAM 2023, where thousands of students had assembled to hear their beloved PM. They all had made their online registration for participating in the programme. A galaxy of luminaries was seated on the dais. Before the PM arrived, they addressed the gathering. Anil K Antony, the recent entrant to BJP and the son of the tall Congress Leader A K Antony told the gathering that India is growing as the world leader under the able leadership of Narendra Modi. He quoted several statistical data to support his statement. Bharat marches forward, but Kerala is not.
Tejaswi Surya MP, the national president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morch (BJYM), said that ‘Young India is New India’. Gone are the days we looked to the West for leadership. PM says youths are supposed to lead the country to 2100.
Union Minister V Muraleedharan, BJP state president and YUVAM chairman K Surendran, Malayalam Matinee idols Suresh Gopi (BJP leader and former Member of Parliament), Unni Mukundan, National award winner actress Aparna Balamurali, Vijay Yesudas (singer, actor and son of legendary singer Dr K J Yesudas), actor and dancer Navya Nair, historian and Padma award winner Dr C.I. Isaac, Radha Mohan Das Agarwal Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) prominent Hindu leader and Padma awardee M.K. Kunjol, Kalari Guru and Padma awardee Dr SRD. Prasad Master, Dr V S Priya, the first transgender doctor of the country, singer Hari Shankar, Cow protector and Padma awardee Sosamma Iype and AS Anusha, who addressed the parliament on Ambedkar Day were on the dais. Surendran presented a memento to the PM. BJYM state president and YUVAM convener Praful Krishna gave a painting to the PM.
Surendran said that last year PM came during Onam and brought a lot of Onam gifts, and this time, Modiji came during the period of Vishu, Easter and Eid and brought gifts for the State furthermore. PM always discuss the development, and when he is around, all our dreams will be materialised. Vande Bharat and in about Rs 3200 cr projects are the gifts PM brought this time. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam asked us to dream. But, our PM materialises our dreams. Now, youths are with new hopes. If youths are asked who is their role model, they say Narendra Modiji. Kerala does not undergo any development. Students go abroad to pursue their studies. What did we lose? We have to look into it.
PM started his speech in Malayalam. Then he said that the ‘vibrant youths were modifying Kerala’. He says, he gets energy from Kerala’s youths. He told the audience that the Amrit kaal of the Country’s independence coincides with the platinum jubilee of Sacred Heart College; he planted a sampling on the campus to commemorate it. Kerala’s youths have assembled here in connection with the Amrit kaal. He said that one week before, he met a 99-year-old youth, Guru VP Appukkuttan Poduval, the Kathakali Guru. BJP regime had accorded the Padma award to him. He told me about Dr SRD Prasad, Dr CA Isaac, Cheruvayal Raman and former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan.
The PM insisted traditional knowledge is very important for society. Adi Shankara and Sree Narayana Guru came up against unacceptable social evils. PM remembered the freedom fighters like Accamma Cherian, K Kelappan and Padmanabha Iyer. Now, Kerala youths have realised their responsibilities to take our country to the 21st century. Once, people said, nothing would take place here. We now have Start Up India, Stand Up India, and Atmanirbhar Bharat. Earlier, we were one of the worst five economies. Now we are one of the best five world economies. Our people achieved this with hard work.
We have to trust our people. Now, youths come forward to ensure the country’s global mission. Since our country is the chairman of G-20, several meetings are taking place. Sessions take place in Kerala too. It will continue.
The country’s youths and BJP share the same outlook. We create change, and you develop fruits. We want youth-led development. We will protect all religions. Former regimes were known for corruption. BJP Government gives space to the youths. We are for a self-reliant country. We have increased exports, highways, railways, Digital India, and lakhs of jobs.
Kerala youths know that infrastructure development is essential for the country’s development. Tourism and the developments of airports in Kannur, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are significant. Kisan Credit Card, a separate ministry for fisheries, and Rs 8000 cr for coastal development are some of our gifts to Kerala.
PM stated Union Government gives deserving importance to the youths. Central forces will be examined in regional languages, including Malayalam. Union Government conducts job fairs and gives jobs to the youth. But, the Kerala Government needs to do something for the young generation. Youths must remember it.
We should work to expose our power. Kerala has got abundant natural beauty, which is the tourism potential. Youths should be able to introduce the State to the world. Kerala is famous for its traditional medical science. The daughter of the former Kenyan PM could save her eyesight with the help of Kerala’s Ayurvedic treatment. It is the result of thousands of years of experience and research. He said he feels extremely happy when he talks about Kerala in ‘Mann ki Baat’. On April 30, it completes the 100th episode.
PM declared that our country is moving together. The State of Kerala should participate in it. ‘Some people’ give importance to their party while others to a ‘family’. ‘Some people concentrate on gold smuggling and nepotism. His government likes to pass on the benefits of national development to Kerala. During the Corona period, the centre gave free food rations to states, including Kerala. We gave free vaccination; now, we give free treatment and Mudra loans. Kerala youths should develop digital activities, artificial intelligence and science and technology. They should excel in sports and games. We should work hard for 25 years for the country. The former generations gave us a lot. We should work hard to make our country Jagadguru. We are carrying out Operation Cauvery to bring our fellow citizens from the civil war-torn Sudan. “Kerala’s son”, V. Muraleedharan, is assigned to lead it.
The PM said North East states support BJP beyond religious thoughts. Kerala also will change; it is time for it. This Yuva Sagar will change Kerala’s fate, and he offered to do it together. He called on the youths to come forward and lead the country; he will be with them. He said the assembled youth’s energy is a model for the whole country. He expressed his thanks to the children. He asked them to light the mobile torch in solidarity. It was a wonderful scene.
Afterwards PM met senior high priests of various Christian Churches in the State. Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, the Arch Bishop of the Archdiocese of Syro Malabar Church, Malankara Catholica Church Major Archbishop Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholica Bava, Latin Church Varapuzha Archbishop Dr Joseph Kalathiparambil, Malankara Orthodox Church Head Baselios Marthoma Mathews III Catholica Bava, Jacobite Church Metropolitan Trustee Joseph Mar Gregorios, Knanaya Catholic Kottayam Archdiocese Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt, Indian Supreme Head of Eastern Chaldean Syrian Church Mar Awgin Kuriakose Metropolitan and Kuriakose Mar Severios of Knanaya Syrian Church were the prominent high priest’s PM met.
PM’s visit to Kochi made powerful waves in the whole Kerala State. The media reports suggest that it was a wonderful evening.