Issue :   
September 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.          September 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:June' 2019


Giving tourism a boost


PM Narendra Modi with Bear Grylls in ‘Man vs Wild' For once he was not in his trademark waistcoat kurta-pyjama outfit. Introduced by the presenter of the Discovery Channel TV show as the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy, Narendra Modi turned out appropriately attired for an adventure outing in the wild. That he was a hit with TV audiences both of in his own country as well as internationally would be stating the obvious.
Modi was in the wilds of Kumaon, the Jim Corbett National Park to be more exact, a place already made internationally famous by the naturalist-hunter’s books of the 1930s and 1940s. The PM was there to promote his own cause, which is to promote tourism. He was there on an assignment which he had agreed upon with producers of the show titled ‘Man vs Wild.

Corbett, who died in 1955, will be content in his grave to learn that the national park named after now has the largest population of tigers of all national parks in the country. Tourist footfalls will, hopefully, increase after the world views him on a TV channel which is internationally popular.

Modi has just started his sixth year as India’s Prime Minister without taking a holiday, excepting for the few days he was at the Kedarnath shrine after the hectic campaigning of the last general elections. But he was there meditating in the seclusion of a cave which is now known as the “Modi Cave.” Like yoga, meditation in mountain caves might become the new craze.

Modi has systematically and strategically worked upon the dormant tourism sector, promoting effectively with Edward Michael (Bear) Grylls for international positioning and promotion like leaders from some other leading nations like Obama and Putin, to name just two have done. in our own Jim Corbett National Park our Prime Minister even smelled the elephant dung for alleged therapeutic effect! All for the positive image management and brand positioning of the country's travel and tourism sector.

At the start of his second term as Prime Minister, Modi urged the public to promote the tourism sector following the abrogation of Article 370 in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. In his address to the nation on prime time last month, he drew the attention of the small and medium scale industries to market and trade rare herbal and o r g a n i c products from the region not forgetting to ask the Hindi, Telugu and Tamil film industry to showcase the scenic beauty of the beautiful northern state in its films.

The youth from the terror-infested states can perform wonders if the new Union Territories have the opportunity to rise in technology and sports. He called out to the industrial sector to set up IT and digital outfits, to train and employ locals.

Cut to Red Fort in his colorful headgear, the PM asked the citizens to promote and provide impetus to the domestic travel and tourism industry, to travel to at least 15 destinations by 2020, to mark the 75th year of Independence. Seems like wishful thinking. One is tempted to ask the leader how the ordinary citizen, the salaried middle man, trader community and the impoverished farmer fraternity achieve this leisure travel target with little money to spare, burdened as they are with sharply rising cost of living.