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Mainstream, VOL LV No 14 New Delhi March 25, 2017

Mahant Yogi Adityanath as CM of Uttar Pradesh: Why the Hindutva Juggernaut Rolls On

Saturday 25 March 2017, by Shamsul Islam


A few well-meaning friends with genuine concern about the future of our democratic-secular polity are shocked by the decision of the 325 MLAs of the BJP and its allies unanimously choosing Adityanath (original name, Ajay Singh Bisht, Mahant of Gorakhnath Temple, one of the richest in India) as the CM of the largest State of India. They feel it has happened out of the blue and the BJP’s top brass, specially PM Modi, should not have allowed it as Aditya’s nomination for the CM’s office goes against the former’s ruling mantrasab kaa saath—sab kaa vikaas’. Some of the friends have even suggested that the Muslims of UP and the rest of India should forsake election politics so that Hindutva organisations led by the RSS have no oppor-tunity to demonise Muslims which they do in the course of elections as they did in the recently concluded UP elections. Interestingly, the demand that Muslims should be disfranchised is often raised by the RSS leaders.

Such responses belittle the seriousness of the Hindutva danger and strengthen the stereotype propagated by many ‘secular’ organisations and individuals that everything is fine with the 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 problem with the RSS’ vision of India.

The fact is that the RSS is not just antithetical to Muslims and Christians but hates democratic-secular India as well. It remains committed to turn India into a Brahmanical Hindu state. The anti-minority rhetoric by the RSS/BJP leaders in the 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 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 to be noted that despite all kinds of Muslim-bashing in the UP elections the winners could secure only 39.7 per cent of the polled votes. The BSP, SP and Congress together secured more than 50 per cent of the polled votes and at the macro level 60.3 per cent voters of UP voted against the Hindutva dispensation. The whole truth is that the RSS/BJP know it well that they cannot fulfil all those promises which the BJP made to its new amalgamation of Hindu castes that voted the former to power. Any sense of betrayal of its ‘vote-bank’ can only be camouflaged by a higher dose of Hindutva politics.

Only Mahant Adityanath with his impeccable zeal and commitment for Hindutva could be the 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 hatred for democracy, secularism and an all-inclusive India. He is a born dictator and relishes slogans like ‘poorvanchal main rehna hae to Yogi-Yogi kehnaa hogaa’ in tune with the RSS’ preference for ‘one leader’ as the ruler. He personifies opposition to all symbols of all-inclusive India and it was natural that after the declaration of his nomination as the CM of UP by the MLAs in Lucknow, only saffron flags were waved.

Adityanath’s saffron attire helps the RSS in propagating its casteism-laden Hindutva. The role model is the BJP winner from the Iglas Reserved constituency in UP. Diler, a Dalit, with family links to the RSS, while canvassing for the seat, not only used to sit on the floor but carry 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 the political ruler, Dalits are expected to follow the Manusmriti norms and Diler will not be an exception but the 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 the 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 being a Hindutva zealot. This politics of dangerous ‘other’ will help in reining in the disgruntled Hindus.

Aditya heading the UP State, sharing a long border with Nepal, sends a favourable signal to the pro-King 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 the world’s Hindus. The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS have both been demanding restoration of kingship in Nepal and its return as a Hindu state. Thus, Aditya’s rule in UP will have international consequences also.

Those who suffered shock by the chief ministership of Gorakhnath Temple’s Mahant, only manifest their semi-illiteracy about the Hindutva game-plan for India. This juggernaut is on since 1967-68 when parties upholding the democratic-secular polity joined hands with the RSS in running governments in provinces and at the Centre. It got further impetus in 1997-98 when Gujarat was turned into a ‘laboratory for Hindutva’. With Modi’s ascendancy and his declaration in 2013 that he was a ‘Hindu nationalist’ completed the circle. The problem with most of the ‘shocked’ friends is that they believe that Aditya’s crowning is an aberration and not continuation of the Hindutva politics which wants to undo the present India. Unless we rise up to challenge in totality the RSS idea of ‘Bharat Mata’ which has nothing to do with the present democratic-secular polity but is a replica of the degenerated Peshwa state, the Hindutva juggernaut will continue rolling on. We should understand that with this process on, no foreign enemy is required to destroy India, the Hindutva gang from within is capable of doing so.

We should rejoice at the fact that whether these were elections of 2014 or 2017, the Hindutva camp has been able to secure around 30 per cent of the total votes. Even in the UP elections where, according to pro-RSS commentators, the ‘Hindutvaaandhi (storm)’ demolished all opposition, as per the polled votes it was much less than 40 per cent. Hindutva aggression shows that Hindus are not falling into the Hindutva trap. Unfortunately, those opposed to Hindutva fail to challenge the anti-national philosophy and deeds of the RSS due to sheer ignorance. Since the RSS/BJP victory in Maharashtra, the RSS has abandoned its façade of being a non-political body. Now that the RSS pracharaks are appointed as Chief Ministers, India’s fight against Hindutva and the RSS’ nefarious ideology cannot be delayed any more. Seventy per cent of Indians are our security against the Hindutva juggernaut.

Shamsul Islam, a well-known theatre personality, is a former Associate Professor (now retired), Department of Political Science, Satyawati College, University of Delhi. For some of the author’s writings in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu and Gujarati see the following link: http/

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