Sunday October 22, 2017
Home India The Monk with...

The Monk with a Mercedes : Tracing Yogi Adityanath’s Journey from a Monk to a Chief Minister | Report Card

Yogi Adityanath completes six months in power as the CM of Uttar Pradesh. We take a look at all that happened, leading to the ultimate assumption of 'the chair' and everything thereafter, by this saffron-clad monk.

Yogi Adityanath
The saffron-clad monk has completed six months in power as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. (IANS)

Uttar Pradesh, September 21, 2017 : On the morning of March 21 this year, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s residence at 5 Kalidas Marg, was witnessing an influx of pandits – a practice that was to become a common event in the following days. A monk in a saffron robe was to now lead the people of India’s largest state, not with his Tilak and jhanda, but as a political leader.

Before the world came to know him as Yogi Adityanath, he belonged to a Rajput family- Ajay Singh Bisht, born in a small region of present day Uttarakhand (previously UP) in 1972. A young Ajay attended college in Kotdwara in 1989, and graduated in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.

It was around the same time that the Ram Mandir movement gained momentum in the country, and a young Ajay was immensely influenced, to the extent that he joined the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Ajay had planned to join Gorakhpur University, but fate had other plans.

Yogi And The Gorakhnath Temple

University never happened, however, Gorakhpur continued to be a focal point in his life. Gorakhnath Temple, wasa key point in the Ram Mandir movement as it was the place from where the movement was mobilised to different parts of UP.

The Nath Sampradaya, of which he is a part, does not believe in caste distinctions and Gorakhnath Temple is their biggest shrine.

The mahants of the temple are not Brahmins but Rajputs, which hence, establishes Ajay’s association to the place.

The temple has had a long history of political engagement. Having stayed central throughout the Ram Mandir movement, a number of its mahants have also been a part of political parties.

A four time MLA who had contested from the Maniram constituency, Mahant Avaidyanath had been a member of the Parliament four times from Gorakhpur.

 Yogi Adityanath is the successor of Mahant Avaidyanath. 

He began his political association in 1996, by managing the political campaign of Avaidyanath. In 1998, Yogi Adityanath, upon being coaxed by Mahant Avaidyanath, contested the Lok Sabha polls and won. He was 26 years old at the time.

However, the Yogi merely crawled to victory in the 1999 election by a mere margin of 7,000 votes. Upon witnessing wavering attention from the voters, a true politician was hence, born.

Yogi became active beyond the math (temple complex); he started touring extensively in eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh. Drawing upon the Nath sect’s tradition, Yogi facilitated every Hindu caste, thus gained popularity among every caste which created a platform for him.

Yogi Adityanath had not won the first election he ever fought in his life (in college), the reason for which was the absence of elaborate campaigning. He continued to be a little restricted in this regard until the 1999 elections.

However, now he worked on his own weaknesses and appealed to the Hindus in the area, proposing himself as a man of less words, but also somebody who didn’t mince words.

In 2002, differences emerged between Yogi Adityanath and his guru Avaidyanath over an expansion of influence beyond Gorakhpur.

The Yogi, hoping to establish his ideology beyond the region, established a ‘cultural organisation’ by the name of Hindu Yuva Vahini with an intent to curb anti Hindu activities and fight the rising influence of the Maoists.

ALSO READ To Control Crime, rule of law be be established in UP at the Earliest: UP CM Yogi Adityanath


Rifts Between Yogi Adityanath And BJP

Though Yogi was a BJP MP, he has always had a troubled relationship with the party. And although he had never previously occupied a position at the BJP party, he is also known to occupy a central stance in its functioning; dictating terms and influencing decisions.

  • In 2007, the Yogi almost quit BJP ahead of the Assembly elections. However, a compromise was reached and he was given a say on the distribution of tickets in his region. Out of the eight tickets that were given to staunch Yogi supporters, only one won.
  • In 2012, Yogi didn’t once mince words to criticize BJP’s decision over the inclusion of an ex leader of BSP, Babu Singh Khushwaha. Was he inducted, you ask? He wasn’t. Talk about exercising influence.
  • In 2014, Yogi Adityanath was entrusted with the Assembly-by elections in UP, the campaign for which extensively drew upon issues like cow protection and ‘Love Jihad’. However, the party only won 3 seats out of 7, losing them to Samajwadi Party.

Yogi’s Commitment To BJP

Despite an uneasy relationship with the BJP, the saffron-clad Yogi offered dedicated services to the party in the state-Assembly elections held in March this year. He successfully mobilized the Hindu electorate from the lengths and breadths of the state, particularly from western-UP which continues to remain communally stimulated.

ALSO READ My government is committed to fulfil all promises made by BJP in its Election Manifesto: Yogi Adityanath

He addressed election meetings in all parts of the state- like Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, and Shamli district. Draped in garlands, the Yogi was also seen alongside BJP chief Amit Shah campaigning during his road show in Gorakhpur, ahead of BJP’s sweeping victory of eight out of nine seats in the Gorakhpur district. This was when slogans of ‘Jai Sai Ram’ being raised in Muslim-dominated areas made national headlines.

After winning the state-Assembly elections by a landslide (312 out of 403 seats), the BJP on March 18 this year announced Yogi Adityanath as the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, thus putting all speculations to rest.

Yogi Adityanath
The rise of the phenomenon called Yogi Adityanath. Twitter

Controversy’s Child Yogi

When Yogi Adityanath assumed the chair of the new CM of UP, his father allegedly advised him to “show respect for all religions”. A Hindu hardliner, the Yogi has a history of inciting religious sentiments with hate speeches,

  • In an undated video from a speech in Azamgarh, the Yogi hit hard with his words upon conversions saying, “If one Hindu girl is converted, we will convert 100 Muslim girls.
  • In 2014, ahead of the International Yoga Day in June, the Yogi asserted the association of Yoga to Hindu mythology and said “those who do not want to practice Yoga can leave Hindustan”
  • In 2015, when actor Shah Rukh Khan asserted the need for freedom of expression in the country, Yogi Adityanath retorted saying, “Shah Rukh Khan should remember that the majority population of the country has made him the star that he is. If they boycott his films, he will have to wander the streets, I think there is no difference between his language and that of Hafiz Saeed (Pakistani terrorist)

The Hindu Yuva Vahini

Adityanath Yogi today represents the tout of BJP that does not shy away from practicing hard Hindutwa. An anti-minority organisation that essentially caters to an ultimate aim to turn India into a Hindu nation.

In his book ‘Yogi Adityanath and the Hindu Yuva Vahini’, author Dhirendra K. Jha asserted that the organisation has, since its inception indulged in communal violence. He outlined in his book that the HYV relied on extremely aggressive and toxic campaigns, that largely included the projection of minorities as the rivals of the Hindus and in turn, overturning every small event into mass communal wars.

Having made communal riots seem normal in Gorakhpur and adjoining areas, the Vahini leaders have never been in the receiving end of warnings from the local administration of the state. The state however, took a disciplinary actions once in 2007 when Yogi Adityanath was arrested for inciting communal passions during the Muharram Tazia procession.

The Hindu Yuva Vahini has always enjoyed a strong hold in Gorakhpur and other parts of Eastern UP, drawing support from the Hindus upon the meat eating (especially cow meat) habits of the Muslim population.

After the Yogi’s appointment as the Chief Minister of UP, the organisation has witnessed rampant expansion of its influence beyond the region, to the extent that RSS and a section of the BJP have raise questions on its functioning.

Lately, the Vahini has been in news for its involvement in Anti-Romeo Squads- a campaign aimed to curb harassment of women but in reality was propaganda to check upon and curtail relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women.

Six Months of Yogi Sarkar

Yogi Adityanath has now, completed 6 months of assuming power as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Upon being sworn in as the chief minister, development and a crime-free state had assumed the top agenda for the new UP government. While there has been developmental improvement as far as new infrastructure is concerned, the state continues to take high in failure of power supply and crime rate with a rise in the number of gang rapes and murder cases. The Yogi’s decision to ban illegal slaughterhouses also instigated debates in the country.

The Yogi’s ‘Anti-Romeo squad’ to protect women and students against harassment was appreciated for the first three months when over 500 cases were registered and tended to. However, eventually the campaign drew controversy when the squad faced accusations of unethical harassment, bribery and moral policing.

Another controversial subject has been farm loan waivers for small and marginal farmers. The government claimed the scheme will offer relief of up to Rs. 1 lakh to about 86 lakh farmers. While debts were waived and certificates given, some farmers have received cheques of Rs 20, Rs 9, and even 1 paisa (Rs. 0.01). This is being termed as the ‘cruelest joke’ of the BJP-led Yogi government.

More recently, the biggest blow during his rule in the state has been the Gorakhpur tragedy when more than sixty children died a painful death due to lack of oxygen supply in BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur. The tragedy triggered an enormous outcry throughout the country with the Centre ordering high level inquiries. The incident also brought backlash on the Yogi-government with Congress holding Yogi Adityanath accountable and demanding him to resign from the power.

To look at the positive side of the Hindutva leader’s rule in Uttar Pradesh, the UP government has paid over Rs 20,000 crore to sugarcane farmers, clearing dues of over 93 per cent of the farmers. The state of roads is also touted to have improved in his rule.

A landmark step has been the Anti-Geo Mafia Portal to counter illegal land-grabbing. The portal has successfully registered complaints followed by subsequent and immediate action against the land-mafias.

Previously, in a media conference in June, Yogi Adityanath had unveiled a booklet ‘100 Din Vishwas Ke’ (100 days of trust), and declared 2017 as ‘Garib Kalyan Varsh’ (year of upliftment of poor)

Indeed, the journey of Adityanath Yogi from a monk to a chief minister has not been less than a phenomenon in itself.


Next Story

Yogi Adityanath: ‘Taj Mahal is Part of Indian Heritage’

BJP, Yogi Adityanath
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath. Twitter

Lucknow, October 17: In a damage control exercise after a BJP MLA’s comments on the Taj Mahal sparked outrage, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said the famed monument in Agra was a part of Indian heritage.

Adityanath also told the media that the 17th-century marble monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, was constructed “by the blood and sweat of Indian laborers”. An official said the Chief Minister will also visit the Taj Mahal.

“It does not matter who built it and for what reason. It was built by the blood and sweat of Indian laborers,” Adityanath said of the Taj, India’s biggest tourist draw.

“Taj Mahal is a part of India’s heritage,” he went on. “Taj Mahal, Red Fort are all part of India’s heritage.”

The statement came after Uttar Pradesh BJP legislator Sangeet Som called the Taj Mahal a blot on Indian culture and said it was built by an emperor who wanted to finish off Hindus.

“We should not focus on Som’s statement,” the Chief Minister said, in the clearest sign that his Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh was distancing itself from the MLA’s controversial remarks.

Adityanath said the Taj was important for the Uttar Pradesh government, specially “from the tourism perspective” and “it is our priority to provide facilities and safety to tourists there”.

Adityanath is scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and other important monuments in Agra on October 26, an official told IANS.

Considered one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj attracts millions of Indian and foreign tourists every year.

Last month, the Uttar Pradesh government had omitted references to the Taj in a booklet published to mark six months of the Adityanath government.

This drew sharp criticism, prompting Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi to say that that Taj Mahal was of great importance to the state government and to the nation.(IANS)

Next Story

After Gorakhpur Tragedy, in UP 49 Children die in a Farrukhabad hospital due to lack of oxygen

The death of 49 children at the newborn unit of Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital happened over the past 30 days due to lack of oxygen supply

Lack of oxygen supply causes death of 49 children in Farrukhabad hospital
Lack of oxygen supply causes death of 49 children in Farrukhabad hospital. Pixabay
  • The death of 49 children at the newborn unit of Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital happened over the past 30 days due to lack of oxygen supply
  • the Uttar Pradesh government has denied that the reason for deaths was lack of oxygen supply but said that it happened due to various other causes
  • A team led by Director General Health is visiting the hospital soon to inquire in detail

Farrukhabad , Uttar Pradesh, September 4, 2017: A case similar to BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur happened in a Farrukhabad hospital that is Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where as per the initial report of the City Magistrate Jaytendra Kumar Jain stated that the 49 children died in farrukhabad Hospital due to lack of oxygen supply.

The deaths at the newborn unit of Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital happened over the past 30 days.

Jaytendra Kumar Jain, City Magistrate of Farrukhabad, on Sunday night asked the Station House Officer (SHO) of City Police station Farrukhabad to take required action against the hospital and its doctors.

But, the Uttar Pradesh government has denied that the reason for deaths was lack of oxygen supply but said that it happened due to various other causes. They gave a similar statement in Gorakhpur Tragedy initially.

Also Read: Gorakhpur Tragedy: UP Police arrests Pediatrician Dr. Kafeel Ahmad on grounds of Medical Negligence

The police at city Police station registered a FIR immediately. After which the UP government today removed Ravindra Kumar, District Magistrate, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the district and Chief Medical Superintendent of the hospital. “The FIR has been registered under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 176 (omission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it) of the IPC.”

The city magistrate, Jaytendra Kumar Jain, on the basis of the preliminary findings, has stated “perinatal asphyxia” (it is the medical condition resulting due to the deprivation of oxygen to a newborn infant) as the reason for death in 30 cases. The parents complained that their children were not given adequate oxygen and medicines during treatment.

But, the state government refused to accept the initial findings of the City Magistrate and said that the Director General Medical leading a technical team of doctors is being sent to Farrukhabad to inquire about the cause of deaths.

According to Indian Express reports, Prashant Trivedi, Principal Secretary, Medical and Health, Uttar Pradesh Government said “Oxygen is in proper supply at the hospital. There is no basis to blame lack of oxygen supply (for the deaths) at the hospital. A team led by Director General Health is visiting the hospital soon to inquire in detail.”

He also informed that in the hospital total 468 births took place out of which 19 were still born. He added that though 66 were admitted to the hospital, 6 had died.

Trivedi also said, “145 children were referred to this hospital from other places, out of which 24 died at the hospital while others recovered.”

Also Read: What if Another Gorakhpur Tragedy Happens? 15-Year-Old Khushi Chandra Launches Initiative ‘Oxygen Gorakhpur’ to Combat Oxygen-Related Emergencies

Avanish Awasthi, Principal Secretary, Information Department, said, “Out of these 49 deaths, 19 were stillborn and the remaining 30 children died of different causes.” But he accepted that one of the causes of death of 30 children was “Perinata Asphyxia” indeed.

Awasthi said that the exact cause of the deaths would be known when the Director General Health who would lead the technical team of doctors would inquire into the incident.

It has not even been 30 days when over 60 children died in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical and College Hospital due to the alleged lack of oxygen supply.

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
Click here-

Next Story

Arrest of Dr. Kafeel Khan on Eid: This is how Fanatics at Twitterati reacted to it

Should an accused not be arrested just because it happens to be a festival day?

Eid is a muslim festival on which Dr. Kafeel Khan was arrested
Eid is a muslim festival on which Dr. Kafeel Khan was arrested. Wikimedia
  • The intermingling of Crime and Religion occurred  when a doctor named Dr. Kafeel Khan was arrested on grounds of medical negligence in Gorakhpur Tragedy
  • It is not wrong to arrest an alleged criminal on a festival
  • Some people are making Dr. Kafeel Khan’s arrest a communal act

New Delhi, September 4, 2017: Crime and Religion are separate entities altogether but sometimes people blur the lines between the two in order to save an alleged criminal giving religion as an excuse. We should not support a criminal or an alleged criminal even if he belongs to our religion as by doing that we are creating an unsafe environment for others, it can lead to communal violence, it’s wrong from humanitarian perspective, a criminal can do no good for the society (and also for the people belonging to the same religion as him).

There have been many cases in the past where people of India tried to save a criminal because of him being a Godmen (who can’t do anything wrong) like Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Asaram Bapu, Paramahamsa Nithyananda many others. What connects these self-appointed leaders of religion is that their blind followers tried to defend them in spite of them being proved criminals. Such is the case with Indians and Religion that they try to defend criminals in the name of religion.

Also Read: Gorakhpur Tragedy: UP Police arrests Pediatrician Dr. Kafeel Ahmad on grounds of Medical Negligence

The intermingling of Crime and Religion occurred again when a doctor named Dr. Kafeel Ahmed Khan was arrested on grounds of medical negligence in Gorakhpur Tragedy. Whats the catch here? Why will people support an alleged criminal? Why will people speak against an alleged criminal getting arrested? We have the answer, it’s because Dr. Kafeel Khan is a Muslim man and was arrested on the day of Eid which according to the world of twitter is wrong.  Read the tweets below to find out the explanation given by people on why he should not be arrested on Eid:

An alleged  Criminal is an offender in eyes of law, the police can decide on what day he/she should be arrested and a festival falling on that day shouldn’t change the date of arrest. It is not wrong to arrest an alleged criminal on a festival. Should an accused not get arrested just because of a religious festivity?

Some people are making the arrest of Dr. Kafeel Khan a communal act. He was not arrested for being a Muslim, he was arrested for alleged acts of omissions and commissions as an administrator in the hospital in Gorakhpur where several children died allegedly due to lack of oxygen.

Muslim supporters of the doctor are playing the victim card and there are some people who agree on this.

In 2009, Dr. Kafeel Khan was accused of impersonating someone in the National Board Exam for medical registration.The Doctor was arrested due to rape allegations in 2015 but after the police investigation, he was proved innocent and was thus released.  All these past charges were brought into highlight by the social media.

The media hailed the doctor as a hero based on Dr. Kafeel Khan’s statement that he shelved money from his pocket to buy oxygen cylinders on 10th August. But we don’t know if what he said is true or he just said that to escape punishment. The social media played a big role in exposing the past charges.

We can smell hypocrisy here.

Also Read: Gorakhpur Tragedy: Infant Deaths, Principal of Gorakhpur Medical College Rajeev Mishra Resigns

But there are some people who know why intermixing of Crime and Religion is a harmful practice. An alleged criminal was arrested for the crime he did and not because of his religion. It’s shameful that people are defending him, saying it is wrong to arrest a Muslim man on Eid.There are 365 days in a year and on many days various festivals of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians fall. By this logic, the police should not arrest alleged criminals on the day their prime festival falls which is impossible. This shows a reserved mindset of people who live in the 21st century and still mix religion with the crime. We should not support criminals or alleged criminals even if we share a common religion as ‘Criminals have no religion’.

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
Click here-