As I watched Yogi Adityanath’s interview at Chunav Manch, I realized soon enough he was the most vocal proponent of Hindutva in India at the moment. The most interesting part about the interview for me was the radical transformation in Yogi Adityanath’s demeanor as the questions changed from his Chief Ministerial prospects to the Hindu cause. I had never seen a politician argue about the Hindu causes as passionately as he did during the interview. And it became clear to me then, should Yogi Adityanath go on to become the Chief Minister of UP, it would be the greatest victory of Hindutva in Indian politics.
Yogi Adityanath’s chances looked bleak considering the complex Caste Equations in Uttar Pradesh and his highly controversial character. Some were under the assumption that Narendra Modi would prefer someone who would be compliant to his will and wouldn’t risk choosing an independent stalwart as the CM who could go on to threaten his hold over the party. But it’s quite obvious now that such people neither understand the magnitude of the integrity of Narendra Modi nor could they ever hope to comprehend the magnanimity of his character.
The reaction of the Liberal Establishment to Yogi Adityanath’s nomination as the CM is very much along expected lines. The streets of Lutyens are overflowing with liberal tears, they never disappoint. Liberals are devastated but the interesting part is many many BJP supporters are uncomfortable with the move as well. The Secular Camp of BJP view Yogi Adityanath as a communal leader as well and do not hold him in much regard. Considering the circumstances, it is one of the most bold moves by the Modi-Shah duo and time has had an uncanny knack of proving their decisions correct. Therefore, we must wait and see how this gamble by the Men at helm pans out.
Ever since Result Day, journalists were busy pontificating how the massive mandate to BJP in Uttar Pradesh was one for development and not Hindutva. On the other hand, BJP bigwigs on Social Media were congratulating themselves for winning a significant portion of the Muslim women vote. But Yogi’s nomination as CM clearly shows that they hadn’t fallen for the narrative peddled by the media and correctly interpreted the mandate as one for Hindutva. And Secularists would do well to remember this pivotal moment in Indian history, if they project rabidly communal leaders like Akhilesh Yadav as icons of Secularism, Hindus will gather together and rally themselves behind Hindutvavadis like Yogi Adityanath.
With Yogi Adityanath becoming the CM, there’s no excuse for BJP to not start the construction of the Grand Rama Temple at Ayodhya. Yogi Adityanath has repeatedly said that the Ram Mandir was a very important issue for him personally and with over 300 MLAs behind him and Narendra Modi as the PM, Ram Mandir must be made a reality. It is easy to understand why liberals hate Yogi Adityanath and brand him communal. Love Jihad, Ram Mandir, Kairana were all major election issues for Yogi, literally every issue that liberals do not want Hindus to take seriously. With Yogi Adityanath at the helm, it can be expected that BJP will deliver strongly on Hindu issues along with the Development they have promised. And it’s good to see BJP realize that they can never win on the Development plank alone, Hindutva is as essential for victory as is Development.
The best part about Yogi Adityanath’s personality is his unapologetic nature and the manner in which he deals with the media.
At Chunav Manch, when a member of the audience suggested that he retire from Politics if he truly desires the betterment of India, Yogi sarcastically replied that it would have been wise if they had sent him (the man in the audience) to resolve the Kashmir issue. Another time, he asked a journalist from Quint to get out of his Math (“Yahaan kya kar rahey hain? Baahar nikliye!”). There was another man who was hounded for 12 years by the media, branded as a communal bigot by the liberal establishment and shunned by the Secularists. Senior members of his own party revolted against him and hardly anyone gave him a chance of becoming the Prime Minister. Today, that man is the most popular national leader in India, Narendra Modi. Will Yogi Adityanath’s career in politics follow the same trajectory? Only time will tell.