Firebrand yogis VS humanity

 

Since elected in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has played a cagey game, appeasing his party’s hard-line Hindu base while promoting secular goals of development and economic growth. Despite worrying signs that he was willing to humour Hindu extremists, Modi refrained from overtly approving violence against the nation’s Muslim minority.

On 19th March 24, 2017, Modi revealed his hand, emboldened by a landslide victory in recent elections in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, his party a firebrand Hindu cleric, Yogi Adityanath, as the state’s leader. The move is a shocking rebuke to religious minorities, and a sign that cold political calculations ahead of national elections in 2019 have led Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to believe that nothing stands in the way of realizing its long-held dream of transforming a secular republic into a Hindu state.

Yogi Adityanath (born 5 June 1972) is an Indian priest and politician with an image as a Hindutva (Hindu Nationalist) “firebrand”. To the shock of everyone on the Indian political stage, he is the newly elected Chief Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh, one the most important provinces, on the borders of the Capital. He was appointed in March 2017 after the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) won the 2017 state assembly elections, in which he was a prominent campaigner.

He has been a Member of Parliament from the Gorakhpur constituency, Uttar Pradesh for five consecutive terms since 1998. Adityanath is also the Mahant or head priest of the Gorakhnath Math, a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur, a position he has held since the death of his spiritual “father,” Mahant Avaidysnath, in September 2014. He is also the founder of the “Hindu Yuva Vahini”, an extremist and militant youth organisation that has been involved in communal violence.

Adityanath has made a political career of demonising Muslims, defended a Hindu mob that murdered a Muslim man in 2015 on the suspicion that his family was eating beef, and said Muslims who balked at performing a yoga salutation to the sun should “drown in the sea.”

Uttar Pradesh, home to more than 200 million people, badly needs development, not ideological showmanship. The state has the highest infant mortality rate in the country. Nearly half of its children are stunted. Educational outcomes are dismal. Youth unemployment is high.

Adityanath has sounded the right notes, saying, “My government will be for everyone, not specifically for any caste or community,” and promising to make Uttar Pradesh “the dreamland” of Modi’s development model.

Would he be able to deliver?

Indian politicians as well civil administration have all doubts about his capability to hold such an important and sensitive seat in one of the most sensitive province. All have just one fear, fear of his radical approach and Modi’s dream.

The appointment shows that Modi sees no contradiction between economic development and a muscular Hindu nationalism that feeds on stoking anti-Muslim and anti-Christian passions. Modi’s economic policies have delivered growth, but not jobs. India needs to generate a million new jobs every month to meet employment demand. Should Adityanath fail to deliver, there is every fear that he and Modi’s party will resort to deadly Muslim-baiting to stay in power, turning Modi’s dreamland into a nightmare for India’s minorities, specially Muslims, and threatening the progress that Mr. Modi has promised to all of its citizens.

Time has proven that the two nation theory was a right choice at the right time. Had someone adopted for three nation theory, Sikhs may also have had their own independent state. Still, they had no threat as Muslims have from firebrand Hindus. Their radical and fundamentalism thoughts, actions and behaviour has forced at least nine independence movements in India, like Tamil Nados, Nagaland, Aassam, Sikkim, Greater Bengal, Kashmir movement, another Muslim state, low caste Hindu independent state and Khalistan state movement.

Hindus ruling India will have to change their attitude towards their social order, otherwise they should get ready to perceive and face several parts of India.

Fundamentalism is always a threat to the national security and its existence. History reveals that nations based on radical approach have drastically been smash

Modi needs to learn “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” (Aristotle) and people with educated heart recognisable humanity and civilisation.

 

The author is a technocrat and an international affairs analyst



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