It's appalling, to say the least, to witness the level of unease that is conspicuous in the entire Nehruvian-secular establishment after Yogi Adityanath took over as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
There were several journalists and commentators who could not hide their intense desire to deny legitimacy to a democratically elected government. Their game plan is not new. When they are in majority and the electoral verdict suits their expectations, it is the victory of democracy and the mandate is entirely a reflection of people's desire.
And when they face an unpalatable electoral verdict, unsuitable to their personal career, they express all sorts of unfounded apprehensions about the so-called ‘majoritarianism’! The Secular Brigade’s cat of hypocrisy – as in several past occasions – has once again come out of the bag!
Hypocrisy of India’s ‘Secular Brigade’
What is more painful is the method in the secular-progressive madness. They know very well that India is not and cannot be a theocracy, come what may.
The vibrancy and success of democracy in India has its roots essentially in the spiritual democracy of this country. In India, much before the dawn of constitutional democracy, people over here had their unshakable faith and strong commitment to spiritual democracy, which is also plurality of belief systems.
‘Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vadanti’, which means that the truth is one, but knowledgeable persons describe it in different ways, has remained the cardinal principle of statecraft here. This land has seen many monarchies, the majority of them indigenous and a few from abroad.
They came, they conquered, but they could not convert; forget entire, they could not convert even a majority of the people to a particular belief system simply because those systems did not resonate the core values of spiritual democracy.
This unique distinctive feature of Indian society and its civilisational value system makes our country stand apart.
In the contemporary world – according to Pew Research Centre – even today there are about 31 countries where the position of the Head of State is reserved for a person belonging to a particular faith. Remember, Yogi Adityanath was elected for Chief Ministership not because he heads a mutt. Five-time MP from Gorakhpur, Yogi ji is an established political leader who has a mandate of the people as well as of his party.
In this backdrop, how can a democratically elected religious leader be perceived as a threat to democracy and secularism? Ironically, this very secular establishment has all along kept mum on dynastic politics. When someone raises objection to dynastic succession in political parties, the usual secular response has been – “So what? After all, the person is democratically elected!”
Adityanath’s Administrative Measures Need to be Noticed
Those indulging in a very vicious anti-Yogi Adityanath campaign must understand that Yogi belongs to this tradition.
He just can’t take a partisan view and impose his belief system, as the very system abhors doing this. People are busy speculating all kinds of negative impacts that his becoming the CM entails. This is not only an injustice to him but a crass insult to the voters as well.
Based on some of the strict administrative measures that he has taken, an extremely irresponsible debate is being needlessly given an artificial fillip. Remember, these are administrative measures and they have their origin in BJP's Charter of Commitments or Sankalp Patra, based on which the Party sought and secured the popular mandate.
Action against illegal slaughterhouses must be seen in this light. Making a needless hue and cry over temporary non-availability of Tunday Kebabs is one thing and earnestly embarking upon implementation on promises given in the Party manifesto is another.
True to the commitments made, the Yogi Government has ordered closure of 216 illegal slaughterhouses. Over 800 serial eve teasers are behind bars. Government employees are reporting to their offices well in time and spending extra hours to ensure that the environs of their workplace are spick and span. Pan Masala and tobacco are now banned in Government office premises.
Drinking liquor openly in public places is now strictly banned. In his war on corruption, Yogi ji has ordered the formation of a Special Investigation Team to probe the massive corruption involved in the Lucknow-Agra highway. Is it wrong to start working in right earnestness on implementing the assurances given? Is it not in tune with the spirit of representative democracy?
We Need to Move Beyond Prejudices
Many are aware that in Yogi ji’s mutt, there are several Muslims who not only do some service but also deeply respect Yogi Adityanath. Several of them express their bewilderment at this. But they forget that same was the case with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who – in spite of his fight against Mughal tyranny – had many Muslims as his confidantes.
The New India that the Prime Minister has been referring to hates hypocrisy. They are not ready to draw conclusions hurriedly. They are more truthful, direct and even blunt in their approaches. They want politicians to shed the olden style of politics of symbolism. They ask ‘What new you have brought to the table?’
They yearn for innovative approaches to solve decades-old issues. They want results, period. Whether one likes this or not, the secular establishment would do well to remember this. If not, their already receding credibility will reach its nadir, sooner rather than later.
With the emergence of Yogi Adityanath as CM of Uttar Pradesh, there is a new dawn on India's political horizons. Let this dawn of a new sun (Aditya) end the darkness of stereotyping and prejudices and let it start a new discourse around politics of performance!
(With Yogi Adityanath’s anointment as UP CM, are India’s secular liberals dismissing an efficient administrator because of their own prejudice? This is the view, you can read the counter-view by Ashutosh here.)
(The writer is BJP Vice-President and a Rajya Sabha member. He can be reached at @vinay1011. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
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