THRISSUR: In a stage emblazoned with the images of social reformers and renaissance leaders like Mahatma Ayyankali, Pandit Karuppan and several others, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech tilted towards the socially deprived sections of the Hindu society like Dalits and the fishermen communities, tailor-made for the Kerala society. Later, speaking about the abolition of untouchability and lauding the roles of the social reformers in the movement, Prime Minister said that the untouchability was still to be abolished in politics. He spoke in length of the need for the banks to give priority funding to Dalit communities and women for startups. “If there are 1.25 lakh bank branches in the country, at least 2.5 lakh women and deprived communities will benefit from the move,” he said. In the speech, he added that the majority of India’s population comprising backward classes like Dalits were being denied their rightful share of funding. “We have also formulated a committee to look into the woes of fishermen in the expansive coastline of Kerala,” he said.
According to BJP leaders, the visit of Narendra Modi and his mention to the deprived Hindu communities like Dalits, Arayans and Dheevaras were meant to highlight the renaissance leaders and the awakening of the Hindu community. “His speech, including his unveiling of R Sankar statue is meant to give strength to the concept of a Hindu renaissance and awakening,” said a senior BJP leader. The leader also pooh poohed opinions that the special mention of the fishermen community were meant to counter the statements made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his earlier visits to Chavakkad in the district. “What is Rahul Gandhi before the Prime Minister?,” the leader asked. Earlier too, the Prime Minister had, in his earlier visits to the state, connected himself with the Dalits and deprived sections, in his visit after his declaration as a Prime Ministerial candidate to the state.