THOOTHUKUDI: God was courted last week to strengthen the crowd power of the newly-appointed BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan at the legendary Sabarimala temple with ‘Pushpabhishekam’, ‘Neeranjanam’, ‘Ellupayasam’ and ‘Parakottipattu’.
The appointment of the hardcore Hindutva leader and RSS pracharak by the party national leadership at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a signal that the BJP will make nationalism its main plank in a state where minority politics has dominated the political and electoral discourse for decades.
Rajasekharan’s organisational skills and clean image have played a big role in endearing him to Hindutva supporters. His agitation against the Aranmula airport project involving corporates like the KGS group, patronised by of the Manmohan Singh government and the UDF in the state, forced the withdrawal of all clearances. Under him, the Left, a section of Congress, Church and Greens worked tirelessly against the project. The BJP high command hopes that the respect his word commands in the party would nullify the growing factional feuds in the saffron outfit.
Rajasekharan had avoided being part of the race for the party’s state president post. As the Hindu Munnani candidate, the firebrand leader, then in his mid-30s, finished runner-up in Thiruvananthapuram East constituency in 1987, when the BJP was in its political infancy in the state. Since then, the celibate has declined to contest again. Rajasekharan grabbed the political limelight when he led the Nilackal agitation—a milestone in the Hindu upsurge in the state.
Rajasekharan began his career as a journalist but joined the Vishwa Hindu Parishad later. Swami Chinmayananda was his inspiration. He was the brain behind the inception of Hindu Aikya Vedi, dedicated to bringing together various sections of the Hindu society. The soft spoken man is widely considered the face of the hardline Hindutva in Kerala who also showed he has a sagacious side.His role in dousing the communal tension following the Marad massacre in 2003 was noticed. He convinced the Sangh Parivar to choose the path of peace and worked persistently to sanction compensation to the families of the victims.
The politician who once was a journalist has been gifted a pen by admirers who hopes he will rewrite the political narrative of Kerala the Hindu way.