Post the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election results, the BJP took a conscious political gamble by naming Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of UP. For all we know, many leaders from the BJP itself were caught by surprise by this move of Amit Shah and PM Modi, let alone BJP supporters. It was a risk worth taking. Many from the left-liberal brigade reigned fire upon the BJP for this decision of the party to select a saffron-clad Hindu monk as the Chief Minister. They knew the political landscape of the country’s largest state was about to be changed, and change it did.
Yogi Adityanath, a dynamic, pragmatic, robust and firebrand leader of the BJP overhauled the governance of Uttar Pradesh. The graphs of corruption, crime rate and bureaucratic lethargy, all went down within one year of Yogi’s rule. The criminals and communal elements feared the establishment and police. There were mass-surrenders by criminals, as they feared the police might come down heavily on them. Yogi was perceived as a no-nonsense leader, who dealt with situations unapologetically, and without being politically correct. This aspect of Yogi’s character made him a crowd-puller for the BJP, many even went ahead to declare him the new ‘Hindu-Hriday Samrat’. However, off late, Yogi has been unfortunately compromising on the basic fundamentals which made him so popular among the masses. Recent incidents of crimes against Hindus in the state, the assault and killing of Twinkle Sharma, the attempted exodus of Hindus in Meerut, the government’s move to recognize 17 OBC groups as SC’s, among others, all point to a disturbing direction. Has Yogi compromised on his ideals?
Earlier in June, the news of Twinkle Sharma’s barbaric murder by Zahid and Aslam took the nation by shock. The reason? That Twinkle’s family owed a debt to the men who killed their daughter. The victim’s family allege that the police did not even a register a written complaint for the first 32 hours, which forced Twinkle’s father to make announcements throughout the village using loudspeakers himself. Whatever happened to the swift response of UP Police, a compliment it has been receiving ever since Yogi took over as CM? No doubt that Yogi has ordered stringent action and inquiry into this murder, however, that such an inhumane incident should happen under his and UP Police’s watch raises many questions.
The happenings at Prahlad Nagar in Meerut have left everyone in shock. Over 152 families have had to flee their homes and many among them have put up signboards saying their houses are up for sale. The cause? That members of another ‘particular’ community constantly eve-tease girls, so much so that they cannot come out of their homes alone. This has prompted the families to seek shelter elsewhere. The families allege that the authorities paid no attention to repeated requests and complaints by the residents. In this case too, there was an abnormally delayed response by the Yogi government. What is more shocking, however, is the fact that Yogi would claim that ‘No Hindus have moved out of the area’. I might be wrong, but this is a complete contrast to the pre-2017 Yogi Adityanath. Playing softball with an issue as serious as that of an exodus of Hindus deserved a much better and stringent response on his part. The Meerut ADG claimed that Hindus were not being forcefully evicted and that they were rather looking for better places to settle due to eve-teasing and traffic encroachment. It is sad that Yogi Adityanath chose to take the same position.
Not only has Yogi Adityanath shied away from issuing strong statements to cases which deserved his attention, but his imposing personality too has taken a hit. The fear of Yogi among criminals seems to be eroding fast. What else substantiates this increase of crimes against Hindus? It may be argued that since he now holds a constitutional post, he is much more careful with his words. But can this be used as an excuse to justify his silence on the Chandni Chowk temple desecration? A tweet by Anand Ranganathan shows how Muslim mobs have repeatedly committed crimes across India, mainly in the month of June. What is shocking, however, is the fact that 10 out of 18 such incidents took place in Uttar Pradesh. What is Yogi doing to prevent these criminals from taking the law into their own hands?
Instances of mob violence since May 23, 2019, where the mob belonged to the Muslim community. Just one month. pic.twitter.com/xRSFefQz3z
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) July 3, 2019
The most worrying part, however, is that the Centre has come down heavily on the Yogi government for its social engineering experiment in UP, by which 17 OBC groups have been recognized as SC’s. It is very unusual for the Central government to lock horns with a state government when the same party is in power on both fronts. Thawar Chand Gehlot, in the floor of the Parliament, rejected this move of the Yogi government and very bluntly said that the state government had no authority to take this decision and that the power to make such a decision lay only with the Parliament. This Nitish Kumar style of appeasing particular sects and groups in society does not auger well with the image of Yogi Adityanath. He will be well advised to not think only of political gains by taking such steps, but also to work as a man we recognize him to be. As long as people trust Yogi, he needn’t indulge in these petty games of political adjustments of certain groups. But the question really is, does he still have the trust of the people and do the masses still believe that Yogi has not compromised on his fundamental principles? If he has not, we would like the fiery Yogi back! India needs leaders who can speak their minds without paying heed to the opinion of a certain section of society, and Yogi has been one of them. For all we care, he should be the last person to lose the plot.
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