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Will Onam Now Be A Regular Lifestyle In Kerala?

As the Final Countdown begins for the high-voltage Kerala Assembly elections on April 6, the voters are presented with two simple options: BJP candidate E Sreedharan’s Palakkad model and Kochouseph Chittilappilly-Kitex’s 20:20 model, versus the decades old alternate rule model of the Left and the Congress. Sreedharan has outlined his five-year development vision for Palakkad. This is also reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “The time has come for FAST development in Kerala — F for fisheries and fertilisers, A for agriculture and Ayurveda, S for skill development and social justice and T for tourism and technology.” V Guard’s Chittilappilly and Kitex’s Sabu have transformed Kizzakambalam panchayat’s (in Ernakulam) socio-economic landscape with their 20:20 party’s transformative endeavours: roads built to last with a 20-year guarantee, a corruption-free panchayat office and the 20:20 supermarket (akin to a DMart or Walmart’s scale) that enables even a poor family of four members to shop their entire week’s groceries for just Rs 500! Sreedharan, Chittilappilly and Sabu are positioning themselves as the Mahabalis of Kerala (the legendary king of the native folklore in whose memory the festival of Onam is celebrated by all communities in Kerala), who can ensure that it’s a daily Onam lifestyle in certain assembly constituencies of the state. Is “Onam Lifestyle” – having Onam every day as a way of life – an idea whose time has come? Well, we will have to wait for the final word from the Kerala polls to understand the voters’ tryst with Onam.