Is The Idea Of Romantic India Dead?

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Yogi Adityanath’s unanticipated rise to the helm of affairs in Uttar Pradesh is a huge leap of the Hindutava wave that had so far been arriving steadily but slowly in India. Here is a man who has never wasted too many words enticing people with promise of development, women’s safety or ‘sab ka sath’. His politics is driven by his single minded obsession with Hindutava, his anti-minority stand is unveiled and his dream of making India into a Hindu Rashtra is unapologetic.

Seen in context of Adityanath’s history his alleviation to the post of the Chief Minister of India’s most populated and politically significant state is a spine chilling development for Indian minorities, particularly Muslims.

Not too long ago Adityanath had been too small a fish in UP’s political pond to be taken seriously.  Derided and chided by secular groups for his communalism, Adityanath’s speeches had TRP value for media and entertainment value for viewers. The five times MP was anything but a potential candidate for the top post in the state.  His political alleviation has not gone down too well with swaths of BJP voters either. Younger voters expressed strong preference for IIT BHU alumnus Manoj Sinha and are disappointed with Yogi Adityanath’s selection as CM of the state.

Politics however is an unpredictable game. Now that Adityanath is the CM of Uttar Pradesh it is not too tough to imagine him as a potential Prime Ministerial candidate, Modi’s successor and Amit Shah’s rival in a decade’s time.  Farfetched that it may seem, it’s not impossible. His five year long test drive is to commence soon and Uttar Pradesh being the political hotbed and communally diverse state that it is will provide ideal conditions to test Aditynath’s potential as the leader of India envisioned by Savarker and Golwalker and carried forward by Godse.

Needless to say that at the stake during this drive will be the directionless, largely uneducated, internally divided and politically voiceless Muslim population of Uttar Pradesh.

Aditynath has been advised even by Shiv Sena to steer clear of making notorious remarks that create chaos and work towards development.

Depending on whether Adityanath chooses to heed to Shiv Sena’s  and also his father’s advise (in which case we may even hope for a Ram Rajya) or whether he chooses to remain on his old track we shall decide if or not the time has come to bid adieu to Rabindranath Tagore’s romantic idea of an India ‘where the mind is without fear…’

In the meanwhile Muslims will do well to introspect and assess themselves.

The Article First Appeared In The Caravan Daliy

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