Kerala Government’s ‘Surgical Strike’ through advertisement in national dailies

In a continued and obvious battle against the national media lamenting the political murders in the State, the Kerala Government has come up with a full-page advertisement showcasing its various achievements. The national dailies here on Monday published the full-page ad which says why the Kerala Government is on top in many aspects. The advertisement, that goes with the punchy headline ‘What makes Kerala No.1’,  signifies the State’s achievements in communal harmony, literacy, governance and law and order. The ad also claims that the State was the least corrupt State in India based on India corruption study, 2017.

The advertisement points out that the State being the first in human development indices is the first to bring down the infant mortality rate to reach the UN standards. Besides, it is claimed the State has the highest life expectancy. Apart from owning the highest literacy rate, the advertisement points out that the State has the highest per capita income. The State also has the highest number of women graduates, the ad says.

It is included in the full page advertisement that as per a survey conducted by ‘India Today’, the State was the healthiest, safest and the most environment-friendly. Kochi, Kerala’s financial capital, is the fastest growing city in India which even surpasses New Delhi in this category, says the ad. The full-page advertisement also features comments from noted personalities. Spiritual leader Sri. M, former Supreme Court judge K T Thomas and actor Kamal Hassan have commented about the State’s stature in different areas.

While Sri. M praises Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for his efforts in maintaining peace which would propel the State towards all-round development, Kamal Hassan says the State was the role model in many aspects for its neighbours. Justice K. T. Thomas comments about the achievements of the Kerala Police in bringing the culprits in criminal cases before law, irrespective of their stature.

The advertisement further says that the State had a comprehensive scheme to provide housing and livelihood to all the homeless and is having the highest monthly per capita expenditure. Coming towards the next half of the advertisement, it is seen to have claimed that the State was the first fully-electrified State in the country and is totally open defection free. The advertisement also boasts of the State’s transgender policy, being the first to launch such a policy. Besides, the ad says about the State being the first in making access to internet a basic right. The full-fledged Public Distribution System of the State has also found mention in the advertisement.

Cautious move

It is observed that the Kerala Government was anticipating Union Minister Arun Jaitley’s visit to the State making headlines in the national dailies, which have been celebrating the political unrest in the State Capital. The full-page advertisement in the national dailies is said to be a precautionary action by the Government to lessen the significance of Jaitley’s comments on the State’s political atmosphere.

Political analysts in the State have also observed that the Union Minister’s visit in the wake of the political unrest in Thiruvananthapuram was a step ahead of the BJP-led Union Government’s plan to topple the Communist-led Government in the State by imposing President’s rule. The Kerala media had criticised the BJP’s intentions in harsher terms on Sunday when Jaitley reached Thiruvanathapuram to visit deceased RSS worker Rajesh’s relatives at his house. Leaders of political parties in Kerala had also alleged that the violence in the State Capital was planned and executed by the BJP/RSS functionaries to shift the public attention from the medical college bribery allegations levelled against several BJP leaders in the State.

The advertisement signals that amidst all these towering achievements and great support from the general public it would be nearly impossible for the Union Government to impose President’s rule in the State.

Meanwhile, Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley after visiting the slain RSS worker’s house had said that the CPI(M)’s political murders would never be tolerated again. Functionaries in the CPI(M) cadre had said that more number of CPI(M) workers had lost their lives to BJP’s ‘hate politics’ and the Union Minister should visit the slain CPI(M) workers’ houses too.

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