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Modi and Yogi

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Yogi Adityanath with Narendra Modi

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Why the BJP’s CM choice in UP is akin to riding a tiger into the jungle

By Sujit Bhar

Now that he is chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, will his past catch up with Adityanath Yogi, or will he be speeding far ahead of it? And if it does, what will he then be talking about? These are interesting questions, because the Yogi’s past is murky, to put it mildly.

Bright political futures, however, have always had this special Ganges water-like property. It cleanses one of past sins. It has the power to create “new” men out of spiritual filth. It has happened before and it will happen again.

How colourful is his past? He has hit against Shah Rukh Khan, even comparing him with Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. He asked King Khan to go to Pakistan if he was uncomfortable in India. He had said Mother Teresa’s primary aim was to conversion to Christianity. He had announced that if he ever gets a chance he would install statues of Goddess Gauri, Ganesh and Nandi in every mosque. He said if you don’t like yoga, leave the country.

The most horrible was his reaction during the Dadri lynching. To him, a possible case of having eaten beef does justify lynching. And then he went on to say that Muhammad Akhlaq’s (the poor man who was lynched, suspected of having beef) family should be hauled up for the crime of cow slaughter.

Does he have the wherewithal to carry out his dangerous threats? He certainly cannot touch King Khan, but he still has his rowdy brigade called the Hindu Yuva Vahini that he formed even before he became the chief priest of the Gorakhpur Mutt temple. This Vahini earned infamy in October 2005, through the Mau riots, where so-called Hindu forces attacked mafia don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari for the alleged murderer of BJP state legislature member Krishnanand Rai.

MP TO CM: Governor Ram Naik administers the oath of office and secrecy to the new chief minister

MP TO CM: Governor Ram Naik administers the oath of office and secrecy to the new chief minister

The police charged Yogi’s Vahini and its leaders Ajit Singh Chandel and Sujit Kumar Singh with inciting riots and arson. Ansari was also charged, but, then, Ansari is a known and established criminal. The situation had worsened to such an extent that Mau had to be placed under curfew for nearly a month.

That was not an isolated incident. Between January 26 and 31, 2007, when the Yogi was arrested, his Vahini went on the rampage and even set ablaze two coaches of the Mumbai bound Mumbai-Gorakhpur Godan Express.

The hate profile

The very growth of the Yogi’s profile has been through the propagation of hate. If he has said that he will borrow the motto of Prime Minster Narendra Modi—“sab ka saath, sab ka vikas”—it is only a clever move to ingratiate himself with the top BJP functionaries. His intention would be anything but that.

The issue is wider than this. Modi and his henchman and BJP president Amit Shah (as well as Rajnath Singh) are well aware of the Yogi’s past. There is no secret about it. If despite this the Yogi has been put in charge of a state that is the prime acquisition so far of Modi & Co in 2017, then “sab ka vikas” isn’t what even the Prime Minster is looking at. For all practical purposes, the 20 percent Muslim population of the state can go hang themselves if it serves the BJP’s and the Yogi’s purpose. With absolutely no administrative experience, even at the district level, the Yogi is definitely not the one who can carry forward Modi’s “development” agenda, whatever that is.

Amnesty International (AI) has just called for Yogi to withdraw all his hateful and inflammatory statements he has made, with Aakar Patel, executive director of AI in India, saying that “Adityanath has been one of Uttar Pradesh’s most polarising politicians”. Of course Yogi will not withdraw his comments. That will expose him further, with the wolf out of the sheep’s clothing.

The funding of terror

A big push towards development is what Modi has promised for UP. He had promised such a huge amount for Bihar as well, but when the state turned him down, he forgot about his promises. In UP, Modi has to make good his promises.

WILL HE WALK THE TALK? And will that be entirely beneficial for the state? CM Adityanath Yogi arrives for a meeting with police officers in Lucknow on March 20

WILL HE WALK THE TALK? And will that be entirely beneficial for the state? CM Adityanath Yogi arrives for a meeting with police officers in Lucknow on March 20

Think about the billions that would go through central and state funding channels towards “development” and think of the scams that are waiting to happen in a country that cannot do without scams. More importantly, however, is the danger of such funds sourced out into terrorising sections of society in funding the growth and fattening of outfits such as the Vahini.

Seeds of self-destruction

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. But the story of Adityanath is possibly just beginning. Yogi is one man who will not be willing to rest on his early laurels. He will be incessant, and he will remain ambitious, highly so.

Reminds one of another highly ambitious chief minister, from Gujarat, who worked hard, played hard and also had the blessing of the RSS. He is now Adityanath’s guru, sitting right at the top of the food chain, in Delhi. Narendra Modi may just have planted the seed of a future banyan.

One day, just as Lal Krishna Advani is languishing in the Margdarshak Mandal, there could be one Modi walking into this old-age home. He is still a member of the Mandal, but his is a special position there, with the Mandal itself being ornamental.

We would watch Adityanath Yogi come visiting. That would be the day.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Book reviews

The Hill Of Enchantment Review: Ruskin Bond revisits his life as writer

The book not only delineates Ruskin Bond’s journey as a writer but also depicts the changing literary landscape from the 1950s to recent times.

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The Hill Of Enchantment Review: Ruskin Bond revisits his life as writer

India’s most loved and prolific writer from the hill, who wrote his first book when he was around 17, Ruskin Bond, turned 90 this year. In his seven decade literary journey, the author has written more than 500 novels, short stories, and poems set mostly in the hills and mountains of India. 

The Hill Of Enchantment published by Aleph Book Company, is a memoir of his writing journey, with the subtitle, the story of my life as a writer. Bond revisits the people, mountains, railway stations, rooms, and markets that shaped him as an author. He says, characters in his novels and short stories are mostly inspired by the people he met in his life. The author confesses that some characters also portray his adopted family, friends and colleagues. 

Expressing that if a writer wishes to create a little magic with his pen he must find a little magic in his life, Ruskin Bond shares that he only has to open his window to see a magical world – clouds racing across the sky. In the book, the author mentioned how Pari Tibba, Fairy Hill, which he could see from his window, and solitude has influenced his books.

In The Hill of Enchantment, Ruskin Bond pens about how his need for privacy and solitude have inspired his first work, The Room on the Roof, published in 1956. He also portrayed how his frequent visits to a railway station led to the story, Time Stops At Shamli and others. Sharing an anecdote, Bond wrote that his frequent visits to railway stations made him so popular, just like a coolie, he did not have to buy a platform ticket to sit at the railway station.

The book also highlights the ordeal of Indian writers in the days dating back to 1950s to get published as compared to modern writers. It pointed out the change in the literary scene in the twenty-first century, which brought literary festivals along with online forums for writers and publishers. The author says, “writers were becoming faces and mini celebrities”. 

Ruskin Bond’s book not only delineates his journey as a writer but also stresses on the changing literary landscape from 1950s to recent times. The book is an utter testament for the aspiring writers. 

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Amit Shah claims NDA has already got 310 seats after 5 phases of Lok Sabha elections

Shah was addressing 2 election rallies in Sambalpur where the BJP has fielded Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

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Amit Shah claims NDA has already got 310 seats after 5 phases of Lok Sabha elections

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday claimed that the NDA has already bagged 310 seats after the completion of 5 phases of the Lok Sabha polls. He urged the people of Odisha to free the state from babu-raj and allow the BJP to form government at the Centre and also in the state.  Shah was addressing 2 election rallies in Sambalpur where the BJP has fielded Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Shah claimed after the 5th phase of elections, the NDA has already got 310 seats and they will secure 400 plus seats after the 6th and 7th rounds of elections. The union home minister added that Odisha has been ruled by a handful of officers and this election will end the ongoing babu raj in the state.

He said that the tribals of Keonjhar get no benefit even though most of the mines and mineral reserves of the country are located in Keonjhar district. Shah enlisted Modi government’s achievements and said that the prime minister has ensured that there is no terrorism across the country. He added that PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) was with India and it would remain with India.

Shah criticized Congress of being frightened over Pakistan possessing an atom bomb and said PM Modi has given a befitting reply to Pakistan’s terror activities and he does not fear such threat of nuclear bombs. He attacked the previous Congress government for doing nothing for tribals. Shah pointed out that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had formed a separate ministry for tribal affairs while Narendra Modi as the PM has worked to eliminate Naxalism in Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The Union Home Minister said PM Modi has constituted District Mineral Foundation and given crores of rupees for the development of the tribal region. Shah said the budgetary allocation for tribal affairs has been increased to Rs 1.25 lakh crore during Modi government from Rs 25,000 crore given during the previous UPA regime.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Congress accuses PM Modi of communal campaigning, questions his silence on key issues like caste census, reservations

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh’s attack came over Modi’s remarks in an interview to the media in which he had said that he has never uttered a word against minorities, and the BJP has not just today but never acted against them.

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Congress accuses PM Modi of communal campaigning, questions his silence on key issues like caste census, reservations

The Congress on Tuesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been indulging in polarisation throughout the election and has prepared a communal pitch, but Congress refused to play on that and pursued its paach nyay agenda. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh’s attack came over Modi’s remarks in an interview to the media in which he had said that he has never uttered a word against minorities, and the BJP has not just today but never acted against them.

Jairam Ramesh said that PM Modi’s entire campaign from April 19 has been based on communalisation with the Hindu-Muslim rhetoric throughout and has not talked about Viksit Bharat, issues of the farmers, Modi ki guarantee, women, youth workers, SCs, STs and OBCs.

Speaking about the remarks made by PM Modi on minorities, Ramesh said what nonsense was he talking about?  He further added the prime minister is fast losing his memory and he has never had any adherence to truth. Ramesh called PM Modi a jhoothjeevi and said PM Modi does not remember what he said the day before and then claims that he never said it.

Ramesh said the prime minister had raised the issue of Muslim League imprint on the Congress manifesto, the mangalsutra remarks and the allegation that the Congress will give reservations on the basis of religion, which are all bogus statements.

He said this is the prime minister who, when asked some years ago whether he had any remorse at the killings during the Gujarat riots, said even when a small puppy comes under a car, one feels bad. This is the language that he had been using. Ramesh claimed that when Atal Bihari Vajapayee became the prime minister, L K Advani and company wanted a committee to review the basic structure of the Constitution. Ramesh said Congress boycotted that commission and this has always been the objective of the BJP and the RSS.

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