The appointment of saffron robe-clad Yogi Adityanath as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister – whose image is that of a Hindu hardliner – seems to be a well-strategised decision in keeping with the political and economic agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, rather than a political miscalculation of the BJP as many have already remarked.
The five-time MP from Gorakhpur with a massive mass appeal at grassroots level in Uttar Pradesh and a star campaigner of the BJP, has been the head (Mahant) of the Gorakhnath Matth. But, it’s his Hindu Yuva Vahini – a militant Hindu youth brigade – that makes 44-year-old Adityanath a strong and popular figure among the Hindus in not just eastern UP but almost across the state.
But what does the Hindu Yuva Vahini have to do with Adityanath as the chief minister?
To know more, let’s take a look at the website of Hindu Yuva Vahini, which has a note: Hindu Yuva Vahini mein aap ka swaagat hai (You are welcome in the Hindu Yuva Vahini).
A look at the website, whose chief patron is Adityanath, gives an insight on various aspects of the organisation — programme, constitution, philosophy, ideology, the movement, its achievements and about government policies. One can make out how Adityanath has been synchronising his socio-political ideas with that of Modi's over the years.
One may not expect the hardliner to be vocal about current economic issues like black money, counterfeit currency, corruption, etc, but the website includes articles and videos on these issues.
Immediately, after his swearing-in as UP chief minister, Adityanath in his press conference reiterated Modi’s statement ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ while emphasising on job creation for the youth, good governance, better transportation system, and welfare for the poor and the backward as his goal.
Emphasising on ‘no corruption’, the new chief minister has even asked his cabinet colleagues to furnish their property details within a fortnight. Isn’t it on the lines of Modi, who had said immediately after taking over as prime minster, “Na khaaunga aur na khaane doonga (Neither will I take bribe nor let anyone do so)".
The website also talks about central government schemes aiming at poor, SC, ST, backward castes, unemployed youth, etc, which is in sync with Modi’s pro-poor narrative that has captured the nation’s imagination and proved to be the trump card for the BJP in winning elections one after the other.
This syncing with the larger national goal of the prime minister is not limited to the website; people from Adityanath’s constituency say that this disciple of Mahant Avaidyanath, the then chief priest of Gorakhnath Matth, has been active on ground when it comes to local development and resolving problems.
“It’s the media that has projected a negative image of Yogi Adityanath. On the contrary, he has done development work in this constituency. It’s his firebrand Hindutva image that helped him to get work done for his electorate in the regimes of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party. When it comes to serving his electorate, he’s equal to all irrespective of caste and religion. In fact, unka kaam bolta hai (his work speaks), unlike Akhilesh Yadav,” Snehlata Sharma, a working woman and resident of Gorakhpur said.
An article in Hindustan Times says that Yogi is no hardliner to his Muslim aides, as a Muslim has been entrusted at Gorakhnath Matth to look after the cows in the goshala. “Yogi stands up for every needy person, irrespective of his religion,” the article mentions.
Following the political lines of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP, Adityanath’s vahini is vocal against the Congress, cow slaughter and conversion to Christianity. In the sections called ‘From the history’ and ‘Conspiracy’ – attempt has been made to showcase the negative side of former Congress prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, and how Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had been a victim of Congress conspiracy. A few articles that bring the point home are ‘Mystery of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’, ‘Exposing Jawaharlal Nehru’ and ‘Indira Gandhi-Political terrorism’.
On the lines of Modi’s ‘No tolerance to terrorism’ policy, Adityanath has strongly expressed views through articles and videos on Naxalism and Islamic terrorism. “Given the despicable situation of law and order in the state, and the ever-present threat of terrorism, it’s high time Uttar Pradesh got a strong chief minister. Hopefully, Yogi Adityanath’s image will help keep such elements at bay, and those interested in development will be able to walk along with him and Modi ji’s development agenda,” a BJP leader from Lucknow said.
The Hindu Yuva Vahini website declares that it wants to be a partner in the growth and development of India, can UP finally expect development under Yogi Adityanath?
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Updated Date: Mar 21, 2017 16:03:20 IST