The day BJP decided to make the 44-year old, saffron-robed monk, Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of UP was the day everything and everyone went nuclear. His appointment as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh has caused anxiety on the Left and exultation on the Right.
People were, and still are, quite skeptical about the decision. Some even went berserk and started dissing the decision of the BJP government. Since the “Yogi” government came into power, they have been under constant scrutiny. People waited for him to screw up for them to get a chance to say, “I told you so”. But now, the tables seem to have turned.
Yogi Adityanath was a promoter of the “Hindutva” ideology before he took over as the Chief Minister. But now, he has changed (or at least pretends to) a lot. Though he was once a Hindu extremist, his behavior now shows that he is taking the role of the CM rather seriously (Take a cue, Donald!). He has been fulfilling what people expect of a CM. Arguably, he is quite efficient about it. His actions have, if only for a short while, quelled any fears of him being a “CM for the Hindus”. It has been a while since UP had such a controversial CM perform as well.
In such a short span of time, the government has taken several initiatives for the betterment of the state. Yogi Adityanath has banned tobacco-based products in government offices, schools, and hospitals. The government has set deadlines to make UP pothole free. Speaking of potholes, government officials have been ordered to disclose their incomes. So basically, as Prime Minister Modi said, he epitomises, “Na khaunga, na khaane dunga.”
He wished Hazrat Ali, an Islamic figure of utmost importance, especially for Indian Muslims on his birthday. It was a punch to the face to many controversy mongrels since it is well-known that such an endeavor by Adityanath is first of its kind. He is not famous for going on wishing Muslims in India on Islamic festivals, let alone wish them on their birthdays. And this is the same person who planned to convert the name of Ali Nagar to Arya Nagar. Well, surprise surprise!
It is a clear signal that Chief Minister Adityanath is inclined towards religious pluralism. He has displayed equal respect to all religions in India. It is something which we did not anticipate but expected from him as a Chief Minister.
We are looking at the same leader who once said, “My humble request to those who see communalism in even Surya Dev would be to drown themselves in the sea or live in a dark room for the rest of their lives,”. He even said, “Some people are saying that we will not sing Vande Mataram… We want this country to move ahead in the 21st century and the matter of dispute is that we will sing Vande Mataram or not.”
He once said, “If they take one Hindu girl, we will take 100 Muslims girls. If they kill one Hindu, there will be 100 that we kill.” And, “If given a chance, we will install statues of Goddess Gauri, Ganesh and Nandi in every mosque.” Quite unexpectedly, now he is providing monetary funds to Muslim families below the poverty line. He is helping marry off their daughters. He has also asked the women welfare department to oversee an exercise of collecting opinion of Muslim women on the triple talaq practice so that they could be present the results before the top court. The man who seemed to chant “kill, kill and kill” has now gifted UP with life-saving ambulances for all.
From waiving farmers loans worth thousands of crores to ordering an 18-hour power supply in villages and 24 hours in district headquarters, Yogi has done a lot of good work in the past one month alone. Demolishing caste-based reservations in private medical and dental colleges of Uttar Pradesh was certainly a landmark decision.
No, this is not a BJP pravakta speaking, nor is it a Yogi fan. It is just that you got to give credit where it is due.
I have but one request to the Indians, sitting in their armchairs in front of their TV, joking how this government is ruining everything. Stop being judgemental and sticking to your opinions about a person who displays signs of progress in his actions. Try to appreciate the good that Yogi Adityanath is trying to do.
Yogi Adityanath has a long way to go. But his main enemy is not going to be a community or a political party. It is going to be the media, much like in Modi’s case. And they have already started!
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this article are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Lutalica.
Yogi Adityanath: A Changed Man or Too Early to Judge? has been edited by Rushi Bhimani.