Ahead of the Assembly election in Telangana on 7 December, it's almost certain that Swami Paripoornananda, head of Sree Peetham at Kakinada in East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, will join the BJP. If everything goes well, it may be on 19 October — the Vijayadashami day. Speculations are rife that he may also be the chief ministerial candidate for the BJP in Telangana.
A self-proclaimed 'pucca Hindu', Paripoornananda, the author of Third Eye – a book on his political ideal Prime Minister Narendra Modi — enjoys a good support of the Hindu population in Telangana.
Speaking with Firstpost, Paripoornananda shared that his agenda for Telangana would be to fight for the cause of Hindus and their rights, and chalk out a comprehensive development programme for the four-year old state that was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. Edited excerpts from the interview:
Is it true that you are joining the BJP to contest Telangana Assembly election, and if yes, when?
Yes, the decision of me joining the BJP was taken after having discussions with party president Amit Shah, national general secretary Ram Madhav and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The date has not been finalised yet. After my discussion with them, I had asked for 10 days. I want to devote myself completely during Navratri festival by observing fasting, rituals, doing sadhana and equip myself for the new role. Vijayadashami on 19 October is a very auspicious day and I’m looking at all the possibilities including whether or not I can join on that day.
What prompted you to get into politics? Don’t you think your religious and spiritual dharma will get affected by being in active politics?
Politics has gradually been decaying over the past several decades. Unless politics is practised with the same devotion as spiritualism, it won’t benefit our state and nation. Sacrifice is the soul of spiritualism as well as politics. As a seer sacrifices everything in life, a political leader needs to do the same. Modi, who’s the custodian of public money of 130 crore Indians, is an example of sacrifice. There’s not a single corruption charge against him and he sacrificed his personal interests for politics. Like Modi's Swachh Bharat mission, there’s an urgent need for swachh rajneeti (clean politics).
This prompted me to think of joining politics. It won’t affect my spiritual practice, because I’ll follow the path of sacrifice in politics too. Similar to spiritualism, my aim would be ‘to give’ and ‘not take’.
You have supporters across parties, but why did you choose to join the BJP?
It’s true that I have followers from across the social and political spectrum. But I decided to join the BJP because I was inspired by Modi, who’s an icon of true sacrifice in politics. He’s a true visionary, with a missionary zeal and a strong commitment for our culture.
Except my old parents, I don’t have anyone behind me. I carry no baggage and can sacrifice myself towards good politics.
While soldiers are sacrificing their lives to protect our borders, politicians have to take up the responsibility to make the nation strong from inside with a sense of sacrifice. It’s only the BJP that can provide a sense of security both to the country and the Hindus.
In my book, Third Eye, on prime minister Modi, I have written that it’s his disciplined personality and commitment that can lead this country and make India a global leader.
Political experts call you the Yogi Adityanath of Telangana. Are you happy with the comparison?
There can’t be any comparison between Adityanath and me. He’s not only senior to me, but he has been a Member of Parliament for five consecutive terms. He took the responsibility of his constituency Gorakhpur from a young age, and is now heading the Uttar Pradesh government. I have just thought of doing some work in politics and I hope to achieve it with the guidance of people around me, who’re leaders in this field.
How do you rate K Chandrashekhar Rao's performance as chief minister?
It’s not about my rating; rather it’ll be the public to respond during the election. You can see the reactions on social media about the state of affairs in Telangana. The Central Government under Modi gave Rs 2.30 lakh crore to Telangana, which is equivalent to three state budgets, but what’s the outcome? It’s time for the people of the state to do political introspection.
People demanded a separate state out of Andhra Pradesh and they got Telangana. But, what have the people got in terms of development parameters?
Amit Shah said in his rally at Karimnagar that KCR government failed to fulfill 150 promises made to the people of Telangana. The present state government used Central funds on self publicity.
You are being projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the state. Do you think your lack of experience will be a hindrance?
For a person who believes in true sacrifice — whether for the post of a peon or a chief minister — there can’t be any problem in his chosen work. One needs to have clarity in mind and purity in heart to perform one’s duty. However, it’s all speculation about me being the chief ministerial face for BJP in Telangana. It’s a big challenge and I’m not worried about any position. Whatever responsibility the party assigns me, I will try to accomplish it in the best possible manner. My sole objective is to do good work and establish the party in the state, and it can be possible only by following the mantra of sacrifice.
It is being said that the BJP is using you to polarise votes along communal lines.
See, I’m a ‘pucca Hindu’ (staunch Hindu); but that doesn’t mean I discard other religions. I care for all religions and respect their freedom to practise and propagate their beliefs. But it shouldn’t be done at the cost of Hindus. It’s Hinduism that accepts and accommodates all religions and sects, and that’s why other religions could thrive on this land that originally belongs to Hindus. Our commitment is to protect our Constitution and its laws.
I visit Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other sections of the society and address their problems. They have shown their acceptance for me.
The Hindu society looks at me, has shown its trust in me and expressed its confidence in me in solving their issues. Tell me, can you ignore Hinduism as a citizen of Hindustan? Thinking about Hindus and Hinduism doesn’t mean polarisation.
You were banished from entering Hyderabad in July 2018 for incendiary speeches, but returned to the city in September to a rousing welcome…
Yes, it’s true. Telangana Police served me with a six-month externment order. We moved court against the order and challenged it. As a result, the Hyderabad High Court rejected my externment order. It was first such incident of my life. I have touched upon every section of the society in the last 25 years and not a single case was registered against me. In my public speech I had talked about Babri Masjid issue and about the foreign invaders like Babur, Mahmud Ghaznavi, Muhammad Ghori, etc, who plundered our country’s wealth and massacred people. Whatever I spoke is part of our history text books taught in schools and colleges. I didn’t speak against any religion or community. This incident made me realise how unsafe and insecure a common Hindu is in his own country. This is also the reason behind my decision to join politics and the BJP.
What is your agenda for Telangana? What would be your first important steps?
Now the fight is between the ‘sacrificers and swallowers’ in politics. The ‘swallowers’ in politics have exploited people and public money for decades for their own benefit. They neither cared for Hindustan nor for the Hindus. I’m seriously worried and concerned about the dharma, culture and values of our nation, as there has been a constant attack on these institutions. There’s a need to protect them as there is no place for the Hindus in Hindustan. There are countless cases against Hindu religion in Indian courts including the Supreme Court.
My foremost agenda is to talk about Hindus and their rights. The government doesn’t interfere in the affairs of Muslims and Christians, but Hindus don’t enjoy that freedom. From temples to gaushalas – every Hindu institution is being controlled by the government and its regulations.
BJP’s slogan ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas’ – which is, in fact, rooted in the Vedic mantra – ‘Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah’ (May all be prosperous and happy) — talks about development. Our focus in Telangana will be overall development, which has been lacking since its formation. A comprehensive development programme needs to be chalked out for Telangana.
It's being said that you will be contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha election against three-term MP of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi from Hyderabad?
Let me first join the party and whatever task Modi and Shah assign me, I’ll do. They are my architects and I’ll work according to their guidance. I am just a piece of stone and as sculptors, they will design me properly.
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Updated Date: Nov 01, 2018 17:38:29 IST