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PM Modi’s Kanyakumari Trip: Beyond Meditation, A Political Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kanyakumari at the conclusion of a vigorous Lok Sabha election campaign is rich with political implications. Modi’s two-day meditation retreat at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial from May 30 to June 1, where the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean meet, signifies more than a spiritual respite. The site is historically significant, as Swami Vivekananda, a spiritual icon whom Modi deeply admires, is believed to have envisioned a developed India here. This choice is a strategic move reflecting Modi’s political acumen.

Swami Vivekananda’s vision of a developed India, or Viksit Bharat, has been a cornerstone of the BJP’s 2024 election campaign. The Modi-led government has consistently highlighted this vision in its policies and rhetoric. By choosing the Rock Memorial for his meditation, Modi underscores this connection, reinforcing his commitment to this vision.

Political Symbolism in Kanyakumari

Modi’s choice of Kanyakumari and the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is loaded with political symbolism. Earlier this week, Modi invoked Vivekananda to solidify his support among Hindu voters in West Bengal. He has criticized Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly neglecting Vivekananda’s legacy to appease her Muslim constituency. Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, author of “Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times,” noted that Modi uses such symbolism to consolidate his Hindu majoritarian vote bank. By meditating at the memorial, Modi aims to resonate with Vivekananda’s reverence among Indians, particularly Hindus, thus strengthening his political base.

Strategic Timing and Location

The timing of Modi’s visit is crucial. It coincides with the final phase of polling in West Bengal, where the BJP aims to secure a significant number of seats. During his recent visit to West Bengal, Modi visited Sri Sri Sarada Mayer Bari, reinforcing his connection to Bengal’s spiritual heritage. His roadshow in Kolkata concluded at Vivekananda’s ancestral home, echoing the spiritual leader’s legacy and aiming to attract Hindu voters. This strategy is particularly significant as the BJP targets key constituencies in the state.

Historical and Cultural Resonance

Swami Vivekananda’s influence extends beyond Bengal, making him a national icon of Hindu culture. Modi’s visit to the Rock Memorial not only honors this legacy but also aligns with his vision of a developed India. BJP spokesperson C.R. Kesavan likened Modi to a modern philosopher-king, drawing parallels between Modi’s national development goals and Vivekananda’s spiritual mission. Modi’s frequent references to Vivekananda’s teachings and the incorporation of his ideas into government initiatives, such as the Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat scheme, emphasize this connection.

Modi’s Broader Message

Beyond the immediate political gains, Modi’s meditation at the Rock Memorial conveys a broader message of spiritual and national rejuvenation. Author Hindol Sengupta pointed out that Modi views nation-building as intertwined with spiritual growth, aiming to elevate the Indian self towards a higher purpose. This visit, therefore, serves as a reminder of Modi’s commitment to both material and spiritual progress for India.


Prime Minister Modi’s Kanyakumari trip, culminating his election campaign with a spiritual retreat at a site of profound national significance, is a calculated move to blend spirituality with political strategy. By meditating at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Modi seeks to reinforce his vision of a Viksit Bharat, appeal to Hindu voters, and underline his philosophical approach to leadership. This visit encapsulates Modi’s dual role as a political leader and a spiritual guide, aiming to inspire and mobilize the electorate as the nation heads to the polls.

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