The rise of the yogi: Review of Yogi Adityanath and The Hindu Yuva Vahiniby OPINIONEXPRESS.IN April 1, 2017 0 comments
Uttar Pradesh chief minister yogi Adityanath was sworn in as Uttar Pradesh chief minister at Smriti Upvan,in Lucknow, India, on March 19, 2017. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and other top BJP leadership was present on the occasion. the massive strength presented by BJP was phenomenal and unprecedented to showcase upsurge of right wing party. there are three prominent reasons for putting yogi in command of UP namely keep polarizing Hindu votes, put strong administer and non-compromising leader and to put development agenda upfront. It was analysed that a strong character can address the depleting law and order situation.
From everything we have heard about Yogi Adityanath’s way with votes, it would seem the man has never felt a tinge of electoral insecurity in his 19 year old political career. But it turns out Uttar Pradesh’s new chief minister had to work his way to “electoral invincibility.” Senior journalist Dhirender K Jha’s 35-page book, which reads like a meticulous magazine profile, details the lowest point in the five-time MP’s electoral journey to show why he may never fear losing an election again.
It was between 1998 when 26 year old Adityanath, would be mahant at the Gorakhpur temple, first won the eastern UP Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 26,000 votes, and 1999, when he fought the election again and found his vote margin down to 7339. the plunge in winning margin was especially hurtful because shortly after winning the Gorakhpur seat the first time, Adityanath had launched his first “apolitical” organization, Gau Raksha Manch, to consolidate the Hindu vote. the cow card was apparently not enough to polarize the voters in Gorakhpur. The young MP realized he needed to “develop a wider base among Hindus” to play the power game in UP.
His moment came in 2002. Drawing on the nationwide split between Hindus and Muslims after the riots in Gujarat, Yogi Adityanath decided to hit the ground anew. He began by changing the name of Gau Raksha Manch to Hindu yuva vahini and expanded its jurisdiction beyond cows to anything and everything “that could project minorities as the enemies of Hindus”, from their meat eating habits to their appeal among Hindu women. to give this new outfit a structure and mission, its presence was divided into multi level committees state, district, block and panchayat and young and restless Hindu men in villages in and around Gorakhpur recruited in large numbers. right from the first day, writes Jha, HYV ran a toxic campaign of religious politics, turning the smallest of incidents to sectarian wars. “there were at least six major riots in the region within the first year of HYV’s formation” and “at least 22 major riots in Gorakhpur and the neighboring districts till 2007.”
The plan paid off pretty soon. In 2004, Adityanath won the Gorakhpur seat by a margin of 142,000 votes; five years later, he claimed victory by 300,000 votes. Gau Raksha Peethadhiswar Parampujya Yogi Adityanath Ji Maharaj, as his disciples call him, has been unstoppable since. As Jha painstakingly outlines the saint politician’s “political fortune doesn’t depend on the BJP or the RSS but is fueled by a communal polarization of an extreme kind.”
So who is Yogi Adityanath?
1. yogi Adityanath was elected as the Member of the 12th Lok Sabha in 1998 from Gorakhpur constituency. He was the youngest legislator of the Lok Sabha. So far he has been MP from the same constituency five times. In 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, Adityanath won the elections by a margin of 1,42,309 votes.
2. Adityanath’s predecessor Mahant Avaidyanath was the president of Hindu Maha Sabha. Both of them kept Hindutva agenda at the forefront of their election campaign. His mission in life is to convert other religious groups back to Hinduism. In 2005, more than 5,000 people were converted in the town of Etah in UP. He reportedly said: “I will not stop till I turn UP and India into a Hindu rashtra”.
3. Adityanath’s original name was Ajay Singh. He changed his name after becoming a ‘sanyasi’. He has got a B.Sc. degree from HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand. He is a very good orator and has the ability to attract eyeballs with his fiery speech. He has been quite vocal in the Parliament and has been raising issues with alacrity. It’s not that he raises issues related to Hindutva only. In fact, he has been equally concerned about issues that have the potential of impacting the lives of the poorer strata of the society.
4. In Gorakhpur riots of 2007, a Hindu boy was killed after some people opened fire on a Muslim procession that took place on the occasion of Moharam. When the youth succumbed to the injuries, Adityanath vowed to deliver justice to Hindus. He announced a torchlight procession and a “Shraddhanjali Sabha (pay homage)” on a busy road. The District Magistrate had forbidden him to do so, but regardless of his instructions he and his followers set off. For the first time in his life, Adityanath was jailed under Section 151A of the CRPC only to find later that he has also been booked under Sections 146, 147, 279, 506 of the Indian Penal Code.
5. yogi Adityanath of the BJP has several criminal cases pending against him. Some of the cases where cognizance has been taken are: 3 charges related to rioting (IPC Section-147); 1 charge related to Attempt to murder (IPC Section-307); 2 charges related to Rioting, armed with deadly weapon (IPC Section-148); 1 charges related to Act endangering life or personal safety of others (IPC Section-336); 1 charges related to every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object (IPC Section-149); 2 charges related to trespassing on burial places, etc. (IPC Section-297); 1 charges related to criminal intimidation (IPC Section-506).
6. yogi Adityanath is the founder of the Hindu yuva vahini. It is a social, cultural and nationalist group of young people. this group is very famous amongst Hindus of east Uttar Pradesh. Hindu yuva vahini has many dalit Hindus. After Adityanath’s arrest in 2007 for inciting Gorakhpur riots, his HYV launched retaliations. two coaches of the Mumbai bound Mumbai Gorakhpur Godan express was set ablaze on 30th January, 2007. Aggression is the hallmark of Adityanath. His opponents often charge Adityanath and his Hindu yuva Vahini of taking law into their hands. The Gorakhpur MP, however, gives diplomatic answer on this question. He says that if the law enforcement agencies fail to do justice to their roles then common man has to think of the alternative ways of getting justice.
7. In March 2010, Adityanath was one of several BJP MPs who did not adhere to the party whip on the Women’s Reservation Bill. Few years ago, a video surfaced in which Adityanath was seen as saying that if one Hindu girl is converted to Islam then they will convert 100 Muslim women to Hinduism. When Rajat Sharma asked this question to yogi Adityanath in his show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’, an unapologetic Yogi Adityanath said that nobody has the right to practice forcible conversion. The Gorakhpur MP said that a person has to be answered in the same language that he understands.
8. Despite his prominence in the party, he has never been on good terms with the BJP. He has had a strained relation with the party for more than a decade. In 2007 UP Elections, BJP and Adityanath were at conflict. He wanted more than 10 seats in Gorakhpur region to go to candidates selected by him, but the party leadership would not agree. Subsequently a compromise agreement was reached by the RSS. He fielded 8 candidates of his choice. RSS’s intervention normalized yogi Adityanath’s relationship with BJP during the election season.
9. Adityanath, during India TV’s Chunav Manch conclave in February,said that he will make ‘love jihad’ an issue in the polls. Gorakhpur MP has been raising this issue for the past four to five years. He said, “”I have been raising this issue for the past four to five years. The menace first began in Kerala and has now spread to Western UP”. yogi Adityanath says he is not against Hindu-Muslim marriages provided it’s based on mutual trust and there is no element of deceit in that relationship.
10. the BJP had included him in the party’s list of star campaigners for polls. Adityanath raised the law and order situation extensively and made ‘love jihad’ a major poll issue. The BJP’s mega success in the polls has certainly cemented Adityanath’s hold in his party.
10 things UP CM yogi Adityanath did during his first week in office Just a week of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the 44- year old has hit the ground running, grabbing headlines with a series of decision ranging from banning pan and gutkha at workplaces to cracking down on illegal slaughterhouses.
Here is a list of things he decided and ordered:
1)MINISTERIAL INCOMES: An hour after he took oath on March 19, Adityanath ordered all ministers to declare their income, movable and immovable properties within 15 days. He asked them to submit declarations to the CM secretariat. He also made them take an oath of cleanliness and honesty. He conveyed that his government would have zero tolerance on corruption and law and order.
2) CLEANLINESS: yogi Adityanath administered his ministers an oath of cleanliness and honesty. Also he fixed every Friday as the day when the state staff must tidy up work- spaces. He asked them to devote two hours per week to cleanliness. He also asked them to read up BJP’s 2017 poll manifesto and begin mulling over how to implement it in their respective departments. Also asked them to make budgetary provisions for it and begin preparing for the first cabinet meet.
3) PAN BAN: The next day, he ordered a ban on ‘Paan masala, Gutkha’ consumption in government offices, hospitals, schools etc.
4) MEAT CRACKDOWN: He ordered a crackdown on illegal slaughter houses and meat shops, and check cow smuggling. Many meat shops were burnt and businesses on strike with supplies drying up. the government has clarified that only illegal abattoirs would be targeted.
5) ANTI-ROMEO SQUAD: the CM also called for an end to road side boozing and asked for the setting up of ‘anti romeo squads’ across the state. When the anti romeo action created an outrage with the way police responded, Adityanath on March 25 ordered making of guidelines and said police should not be inhuman while implementing it.
6) SETTING AGENDA WITH MODI: On March 21, he went to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss distribution of portfolios to his ministers. He also informed the PM Modi that MPs were lobbying for transfers, postings of officers. Modi, on March 23, ordered all MPs not to interfere in transfers, postings.
7) ACID ATTACK CRACKDOWN: On March 24, Adityanath visited an acid attack survivor. Gave her Rs one lakh aid and ordered the arrest of the culprits.
8) POT-HOLES: On March 25, Adityanth set a deadline of June 15 for making all UP roads pot-holes free.
9) METRO: the new CM has also announced Metro train projects for Gorakhpur (his Lok Sabha constituency) and Jhansi.
10) CRACKDOWN ON LAXITY: During a visit in Gorakhpur, Adityanath said those officers who cannot work 18-20 hours were free to leave. He also said that the state would promote regional dialects.
Inputs from Snigdha Poonam article published in HT & Dr Rahul Misra in Lucknow