The inauguration of Kochi Metro Rail, made eventful by the controversies that preceded it, is finally over, but Malayalees are not done venting their anger at the perceived insult to one of their greatest modern day elders, technocrat E Sreedharan. The PMO had reportedly struck his name off the list of dignitaries on the dais, which was soon reversed, but that was not going to be enough.
The target, as has become common now, is the BJP’s State president, ‘Kummanam’ Rajasekharan.
As soon the photographs of the inauguration came out, many took note of Kummanam’s omnipresence during the event – seated next to Kerala Governor P Sathasivam when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister ‘Pinarayi’ Vijayan and Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu took the inaugural ride; when the prime minister went through the ceremonial routine of cutting the ribbon and everywhere else Modi went.
Only one problem: Kummanam Rajasekahan’s only official capacity is that of the State president of BJP, a position of little relevance in an official function when Sreedharan who played a godfather role was not to be seen.
Incidentally the image shared by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the social media cropped Rajasekharan from the frame, while he was there in the photograph that was shared by the PMO handle, @PMOIndia.
Then came the memes. Some compared Kummanam’s presence with the (probably photoshopped) pictures of animals and objects in inexplicable positions, with the caption that read: “Do you ever look at stuff and wonder how it got there?”
Some commented nostalgically about all of us having a freeloader friend who went to marriages uninvited and always travelled ticketless.
Rajasekharan, from the hardline faction of the Hindu organisations in Kerala before being catapulted as the president of the BJP State unit, was also termed Kochi Metro’s first case of ticketless travel.
This in turn became a Kaun Banega Crorepati styled meme: who was the first ticketless traveller on Kochi Metro.
With the ICC Champions Trophy final lined up between India and Pakistan, there was even one about Kummanam pushing his way into the squad.
If he could make it to the Indian team, would a seat at Jesus's Last Supper be beyond meme-makers' imagination.
This is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to attacks on the BJP and its leadership at the State and Centre – much of it is the handiwork of the Left and the others in anti-right camp – and is expected to continue for a day or two more.