ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Modi and the Yogi

They are two sides of the same coin, committed to the same goals.

Why were people so shocked when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) decided that the most appropriate person to lead Uttar Pradesh (UP), after its victory in the recent elections, was the Hindutva firebrand Yogi Adityanath? Surely, given the stated aim of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that mentors the BJP to push India towards becoming a Hindu rashtra, appointing a man like Adityanath to head the country’s most populous state makes perfect sense. It declares in no uncertain terms that regardless of the public rhetoric about inclusiveness, there is no dilution in the party’s long-term aim. Therefore, if a hardline religious head of the Gorakhnath Math like Adityanath is able to consolidate further the Hindu vote before the next general elections in 2019, making the BJP’s victory a virtual certainty, then why not?

The problem lies not in the logic of the BJP’s choice but the fact that many people, including the majority in the media, had been seduced to believe that Narendra Modi had mellowed with power; that having been elected prime minister of the whole country, and not just chief minister of one state, he had prioritised “development” over a divisive Hindutva agenda. Those who fell for this disingenuous message were clearly delusional. For there is nothing that Modi has done in close to three years in office that establishes that his fundamental views have changed. If indeed he had concluded that both he and his party had to move somewhat to the centre to be acceptable to all Indians, he would have firmly controlled people like Adityanath who have been spewing hatred towards Muslims. Yet he has done nothing of the sort. His silence in the face of such vitriol confirms the obvious, that these so-called “fringe” elements are as integral to the party as is the peel to an apple. They derive their purpose, their power and their legitimacy from people like Modi and in turn help him and the party in achieving their political goals.

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Updated On : 28th Aug, 2017
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