Why are We Surprised by Adityanath’s appointment as UP CM?

Written by Shamsul Islam | Published on: March 20, 2017
Yogi Adityanath
Image: Reuters

A few well-meaning friends with genuine concern about the future of our democratic-secular polity are shocked by the decision of the 315 MLAs of BJP and its allies unanimously choosing Adityanath (original name, Ajay Singh Bisht, Mahant of Gorakhnath Temple, one of the richest in India) as CM of largest State of India. They seem to feel that this decision has been taken out of the blue and the BJP top brass, especially Prime Minister Modi, should not have allowed it as Aditya’s nomination for CM’s office goes against the former’s ruling mantra ‘sab kaa saath-sab kaa vikaas’. Some of these friends have even suggested that Muslims of UP and rest of India should forsake electoral politics so that Hindutva organizations led by RSS have no opportunity to demonize Muslims which they do in the course of elections as they did in the recently concluded UP elections. Interestingly, this demand that Muslims should be disfranchised is often raised by the RSS leaders themselves.

Such responses belittle the seriousness of the danger to democratic, secular India posed by the politics of Hindutva and worse, strengthen the stereotype propagated by many ‘secular’ organisations and individuals that everything is fine with RSS except that it is antithetical to Muslims and Christians.  If the former changes its attitude towards these two minorities of India there is no real problem with the RSS vision of India.

The fact is that RSS is not just antithetical to Muslims and Christians but hates the very foundation of democratic-secular India as well. It remains committed to turn India into a Brahmanical Hindu State. The anti-minority rhetoric by RSS/BJP leaders in recently concluded UP elections was an alibi for diverting attention from issues of poverty, unemployment, violence against women, absence of educational and health services. The inciteful hate propaganda was aimed at conveying to the Hindu electorate that Muslims (and Christians) posed greater internal threat than the social and political deprivations of the former.

To rationalise Aditynath’s ascendancy to power to his being the crudest and most poisonous anti-Muslim leader is a small part of the story. It is significant that despite all kinds of Muslim bashing in the run-up to the UP elections the winners could secure only 39.7% of the polled votes. The BSP, SP and Congress together secured more than 50% of the polled votes and at the macro level 60.3% voters of UP voted against the Hindutva dispensation. The whole truth is that RSS/BJP knows well that they cannot fulfil all those promises which it has made to its new and electorally cunning amalgamation of Hindu Castes which voted the former to power.Any sense of this betrayal of its ‘vote-bank’ can only be camouflaged by a higher doze of Hindutva politics.

Mahant Adityanath with his impeccable zeal and commitment to Hindutva is Modi-Shah’s best bet for accomplishing this task. Adityanath combines two most aggressive streams of Hindutva politics, the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS. He combines in him the Savarkarite and Golwalkarite’s  hatred for democracy, secularism and an all-inclusive India. He is a born dictator and relishes slogans like ‘Poorvanchal mein rehna hai to Yogi-Yogi kehnaa hogaa’ (To live in Poorvanchal, you must chant Yogi’s name) in tune with the RSS preference for ‘one leader’ as ruler. He personifies opposition to all symbols of all-inclusive India and it was a natural corollary to his nomination as CM of UP by the MLA’s in Lucknow, that only saffron flags which were waved in the capital.

Adityanath’s saffron attire helps RSS in propagating its Casteism laden Hindutva. The role model is BJP winner from Iglas Reserved constituency in UP. Diler a Dalit with family links to RSS while canvassing for the seat, not only sat on the floor but carried his own steel glass for drinking water/tea when he visited homes of upper-caste voters. Diler, a Valmiki, justified his desire to remain shackled in Casteism by saying ‘Main apni maan maryada khatm nahin kar sakta. Zamana chahe badalta rahe.’ (I cannot break away from tradition. Let the world change, I won’t). With Mahant Adityanath as political ruler, Dalits are expected to follow Manusmriti norms and Diler will not be an exception but rule.

Adityanath’s persistent aggressive calls for an India free of Muslims, ban on cow-slaughter (nobody asks him why it continues in many States ruled by RSS/BJP), conversion of Muslims/Christians to Hinduism and demand that Muslims should show their loyalty by chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ (which Hindutva leaders/cadres never chanted against the British rulers) only adds to his aura of a Hindutva zealot. This politics of dangerous ‘other’ will help in reining in the disgruntled Hindus.

Aditya heading the UP State, that shares a long border with Nepal sends a favourable signal to the pro-king (monarchy) elements there. Aditya and his math historically have rendered great support to the Hindu kings of Nepal. According to them, the Nepal king is the king of Hindus of the world. Hindu Mahasabha and RSS both have been demanding restoration of the monarchy in Nepal and its return as a Hindu State. Thus,Aditya’s rule in UP will have international consequences also.

Those who have been shocked by the appointment to chief minister, the Mahant of the Gorakhnath Temple, only manifest their semi-illiteracy about Hindutva’s game-plan for India. This juggernaut has been on a successful roll since the 1967-68 when parties upholding democratic-secular polity joined hands with the RSS in running governments in several states and thereafter, at the Centre. It got further impetus in 1997-8 when Gujarat was turned into ‘laboratory for Hindutva.’ With Modi’s ascendancy and his declaration that he was a ‘Hindu nationalist’ in 2013, this journey completed the proverbial circle.

The problem with most of my ‘shocked’ friends is that they believe that Aditya’s crowning is an aberration and not the ad continuum of Hindutva politics which wants to undo present-day secular democratic India based on the Constitution. Unless we are able to rise up to the challenge in a real sense, the RSS idea of ‘Bharat Mata’ will gain further in ascendancy. This India is but a replication of the degenerate Peshwa State; with this reality, no foreign enemy needs to destroy India, the Hindutva gang are more than capable or up to the task.

We should both reflect and rejoice that, whether in 2014 or 2017, the Hindutva camp has been able to secure only around 30 -40 % of the total votes. Even in UP elections where according to pro-RSS commentators ‘Hindutva aandhi (storm)’ demolished all opposition, the results show that their vote-catch was less than 40%. The sharp rise in Hindutva’s aggression shows that Hindus are not falling for the Hindutva trap. Unfortunately, those opposed to Hindutva fail in challenging the anti-national philosophy and deeds of RSS, due to an absence of political will, poor organisation, even less communication apart from sheer ignorance. Since the RSS/BJP victory in Maharashtra, the RSS has even abandoned its façade of claiming to be a non-political body. Since 2001 (Gujarat) RSS pracharaks are appointed as chief ministers. The real India’s fight against Hindutva and the RSS’ nefarious ideology cannot be delayed any more. Seventy per cent of Indians are our security against this Hindutva juggernaut.