Posts Tagged ‘Yogi Adityanath’
The following editorial in The New York Times gives a timely warning to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against frittering away his electoral gains:
Since he was elected in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has played a cagey game, appeasing his party’s hard-line Hindu base while promoting secular goals of development and economic growth. Despite worrying signs that he was willing to humor Hindu extremists, Mr. Modi refrained from overtly approving violence against the nation’s Muslim minority.
On Sunday, Mr. Modi revealed his hand. Emboldened by a landslide victory in recent elections in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, his party named a firebrand Hindu cleric, Yogi Adityanath, as the state’s leader. The move is a shocking rebuke to religious minorities, and a sign that cold political calculations ahead of national elections in 2019 have led Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to believe that nothing stands in the way of realizing its long-held dream of transforming a secular republic into a Hindu state.
Mr. Adityanath has made a political career of demonizing Muslims, thundering against such imaginary plots as “love jihad”: the notion that Muslim men connive to water down the overwhelming Hindu majority by seducing Hindu women. He defended a Hindu mob that murdered a Muslim man in 2015 on the suspicion that his family was eating beef, and said Muslims who balked at performing a yoga salutation to the sun should “drown themselves in the sea.”
Uttar Pradesh, home to more than 200 million people, badly needs development, not ideological showmanship. The state has the highest infant mortality rate in the country. Nearly half of its children are stunted. Educational outcomes are dismal. Youth unemployment is high.
Mr. Adityanath has sounded the right notes, saying, “My government will be for everyone, not specifically for any caste or community,” and promising to make Uttar Pradesh “the dreamland” of Mr. Modi’s development model.
But the appointment shows that Mr. Modi sees no contradiction between economic development and a muscular Hindu nationalism that feeds on stoking anti-Muslim passions. Mr. Modi’s economic policies have delivered growth, but not jobs. India needs to generate a million new jobs every month to meet employment demand. Should Mr. Adityanath fail to deliver, there is every fear that he — and Mr. Modi’s party — will resort to deadly Muslim-baiting to stay in power, turning Mr. Modi’s dreamland into a nightmare for India’s minorities, and threatening the progress that Mr. Modi has promised to all of its citizens.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been quoted in a section of the media that he has threatened to quit if the RSS did not contain its front organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal from creating problems for him by their unbridled utterances. No source of this momentous information has been cited. It is, therefore, difficult to say how far this is true.
If Modi has really conveyed such an intention to the Sangh Parivar bosses, it shows his fear of losing his own importance in the Parivar. It could also be a ploy to fool the people. Modi has grown up in the Sangh Parivar ideology and it is difficult to assume that he has become a reformed bigot within a few months of becoming the Prime Minister. Modi could never have imagined to reach that position without the active support of the RSS and all its affiliates. The RSS, naturally, did not sit him on the Delhi throne to become a Jawaharlal Nehru.
He must have been fully aware of the ‘Hindutva potential’ of Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Yogi Adityanath, Sakshi Maharaj and such other fanatics when he cleared their tickets for Lok Sabha as he was holding the pre-eminent position in the party after he had got the party declare him as the prime ministerial candidate. One presumes that it was his own decision to include Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti into his Council of Ministers. Before the Lok Sabha elections Modi was also saying, in his own style, the things which he is now reported to have found unpalatable to him.
Modi was known to be the most trusted lieutenant of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and nourished in Veer Savarkar’s teachings about the ‘collective guilt of the Muslims’. Veer Savarkar believed that the ‘Muslims need to be punished not only for what they themselves have done but what their co-religionists had done in the past’.
M S Golwalkar, another source of inspiration for the Sangh Parivar activists, Narendra Modi included, points out in his book ‘We or Our Nationhood Defined’ what Hitler had done in Germany. Subhash Gatage’s well-researched book ‘Godse’s Children – Hindutva Terror in India’ quotes from Golwalkar’s book to add: ‘…Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and Cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit’.
One who imbibed this ideology for nearly five decades becomes a liberal within a few month of getting power? Difficult to believe.