Who is Tejasvi Surya? Youngest BJP candidate, supported by RSS, raises high nationalism pitch on social media

The youngest candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party, 28-year-old lawyer and vice-president of the Karnataka BJP Yuva Morcha Tejasvi Surya, has emerged as the centre of the party and Opposition's attention.

Known for his hyperbole on social media and amplified cries of nationalism, Tejasvi has also been quite a sensation since the BJP named him the candidate for its prestigious Bengaluru South Lok Sabha seat, a seat that was widely expected to go to Tejaswini Ananthkumar, the widow of Union minister Ananth Kumar who died in November last year.

Tejasvi will contest against Congress' BK Hariprasad in Bangalore South. He is the nephew of BJP lawmaker Ravi Subramanya. If Tejasvi wins, he would be the youngest MP from the BJP camp. With a young face, the BJP could be hoping to secure youth support for the upcoming polls.

However, Tejasvi will not be India's youngest MP. In 2014, great-grandson of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, and grandson and son of jailed leaders Om Prakash Chautala and Ajay Chautala, Dushyant Chautala of Indian National Lok Dal became the youngest person to become an MP in India. Now 30, Chautala was just 26-years-old when he won the prestigious seat from Hisar after defeating sitting MP Kuldeep Singh Bishnoi, of Haryana Janhit Congress.

Several reports (read here, here, here and here) have said that the decision to field Tejasvi instead of Tejaswini Ananthkumar was a combined decision of the BJP and RSS national leaderships. Leaders of both RSS and BJP have also applauded Tejasvi's fiery speeches, which his critics have dubbed as polarising.

Recently, a five-year-old tweet by Tejasvi was circulated on social media which said: "With the exception of Women's Reservation in Parliament, Modi govt agenda is inspiring. Dread the day when women's reservation becomes reality"

 Who is Tejasvi Surya? Youngest BJP candidate, supported by RSS, raises high nationalism pitch on social media

The women's quota bill has been stalled for years, blocked by lawmakers across party lines. Criticising a law that aims to reserve a third of seats in Parliament for women, is not very becoming of a leader who is going to fight the upcoming Lok Sabha election, and at a time when issues related to women emancipation and their empowerment is one of the most debated topics not only in India, but in the world. The tweet has now vanished from his timeline.

The screenshot of the deleted tweet started circulating on Tuesday as media organisations dug out data on Tejasvi Surya. Does he still feel the same way, questioned some on social media.

Tejasvi's Twitter timeline makes for a good read.

Not only does it give an insight into Tejasvi's brand of politics but it also appears to show why he was chosen by the RSS and the BJP to be the face of a distinguished, high-profile seat. Enamoured by the politics and ideology of the RSS and the BJP, Tejasvi's tweets eulogise Prime Minister Narendra Modi more than speaking out on issues which are plaguing the nation. Instead of speaking about pertinent issues, Tejasvi has several tweets thanking Modi for giving him an opportunity to "work under him".

When he is not tweeting his undying adulation for the Central leadership, Tejasvi is decoding the concept of Hindus in Independent India on Twitter.

For an example, go through this thread:

Sharing his experience at a panel discussion at Christ University in Bengaluru, Tejasvi said, "The idea that we became a new nation in 1947 & our Constitution is what makes us plural is the regular BS that our kids are fed with. Unless Hindus realise that India is plural because India is majority Hindu & not just because of a Constitution, we won't go anywhere."

He further wrote: "A concerted effort is made to negate our Hindu past, make it uncool to be Hindu, say we must look at the future and not past, say we are Constitutionalists, say we are Indian & nothing else, deliberately portray Hindusim to be regressive, change goalposts, speak of human identity."'

"Young Hindus must be made to study bloody history of the abrahamic religions and their dogmas. They will themselves realise how they have been fooled to believe in superficial mumbo jumbo all these years. Only the Hindu philosophy is universal and accepting. Rest are predatory"

In a series of tweets, Tejasvi notes how lack of knowledge about "abrahamic religions" which have massacred and partitioned India, is the reason why "Hindu people have ZERO civilizational consciousness". He ended the thread with this tweet:

Tejasvi's heavily nationalistic orientation and diatribe can be attributed to his closeness with the RSS and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in his younger days. After Tejasvi was announced as the BJP candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, the young leader sent out several tweets thanking members of the Sangh Parivar, including national joint general secretary (organising) of the BJP BL Santhosh and top RSS functionary Mukunda CR, who was named Sah Sarkaryavah (Joint General Secretary) at the valedictory of a three-day Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) in March 2018.

Tejasvi also becomes crucial to BJP's Karnataka plans given a sizable population of Brahmins and upper caste Hindus. But that aside, Bengaluru South has also been the base for RSS operations in the city for over two decades. The constituency also has a large chunk of people from the Vokkaliga and OBC communities, who have leaned towards the RSS and BJP, The News Minute reported.

Santhosh, especially, pushed for Tejasvi's candidature. Comparing the Bengaluru South seat to Indore or Bhopal, BJP leaders told The News Minute, "The point was to give into the RSS demand of fielding a candidate acceptable to the Sangh. With pressure coming in from the sangh, they decided to field Tejasvi, who has been working with the RSS for a long time."

Interestingly, Tejasvi's extensive time spent with the ABVP and RSS has not been discussed much anywhere. Most of the reports, Tejasvi has been referred to as a "lawyer". With a sizable population of Brahmins and upper caste Hindus, Bengaluru South has been the base for RSS operations in the city for over two decades, reports said. The constituency also has a large chunk of people from the Vokkaliga and OBC communities, who have leaned towards the RSS and BJP.

The BJP has held the seat since 1991. Ananth Kumar had represented the constituency from 1996 and had won in 2014 by a margin of over two lakh votes against Congress candidate Nandan Nilekani.

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Updated Date: Mar 27, 2019 16:54:01 IST