By Sushil Kutty
Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, has discovered he is ‘Hindu’ and has told it to the world, too, especially the electorate of Uttar Pradesh, which is going to polls and the Yogi may or may not continue to rule Uttar Pradesh if he fails to woo the Hindu vote. So, quite aware of the pits and falls, he revealed the secret and asked the congregation to “Garv Se Kaho Hum Hindu Hain.”
The revelation came in, of all the places, Amethi, the erstwhile parliamentary constituency of Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi. The Yogi’s bold overture was to the electorate of Uttar Pradesh, where voters have been giving the Yogi—Modi and Amit Shah—mixed signals, the most telling of which is that the BJP will bite the dust if the Hindus desert it, which is what some of the mixed signals are about.
In fact—come to think of it—the signals are such that the Yogi has been losing hair over it, and Modi and Shah, presumably, sleep. But when the Yogi’s overture began to play, it led to rivals revving up in outrage. “This is majoritarianism,” said a Congress spokesperson, angry that the opera’s conductor was playing to the gallery!
That being said, the Congress is not the bull in the BJP’s china shop. That distinction goes to Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party. The Samajwadi Party spokesperson at the Yogi’s hearing was not mincing words. He singled out Yogi’s intolerance to Muslim and Christian; Jain and Buddhist—the Sikh, and even the atheist; who, too, has developed a dislike for the saffron-clad Yogi.
The Samajwadi should have worn his red cap, but he did not. Instead, he’s sporting saffron. He was upset that Yogi’s revelation about him being “Hindu” amounted to much more than Akhilesh Yadav’s revelation that Lord Krishna of Mathura appeared every night in his dreams to remind him that he will be the one to bring “Ram Rajya” to Uttar Pradesh.
Yogi Adityanath and Akhilesh Yadav, both of them, should thank Rahul Gandhi for turning them diehard Hindu. Even before the Yogi said “Garv Se Kaho Hum Hindu Hain’, Rahul Gandhi had said that he was ‘Hindu’ and everyone in the Bharatiya Janata Party—most of all Prime Minister Narendra Modi—were ‘Hindutva-vadi’, meaning non-Hindu! Rahul Gandhi was in Amethi just days before the Yogi landed there to galvanize the Hindutva. While there, Rahul gave those in the saffron party a quick lesson on the difference between ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hindutva’— a sort of ready-reckoner with examples to boot, and reboot!
For example, if Ram is ‘Hindu’, Ravana is ‘Hindutva.’ And if Krishna is ‘Hindu’, evil uncle Kanz was ‘Hindutva’. Not difficult to remember! And it appears the quickest to learn were Yogi Adityanath and Akhilesh Yadav. So, while Yogi Adityanath suddenly remembered he is “Garv Se Kaho Hum Hindu Hain”, Akhilesh Yadav started getting dreams in which Krishna appeared.and told him straight to his face that he’ll be the harbinger of “Ram Rajya” in Uttar Pradesh.
Suddenly, everybody wants to be the Hindu mascot, even the saffron-clad, shaven pate erstwhile mahant of a Hindu religious establishment. And, if Narendra Modi proclaims his Hindutva from Kashi Vishwanath in Kashi, Amit Shah lands up in Ayodhya to talk of ‘Bhavya Ram Mandir’. Not to be left out, Akhilesh Yadav, gaining traction from wooing Parshuram and Lord Krishna, starts talking of Ram Rajya!
In his election speech in Amethi, Yogi Adityanath railed against Rahul Gandhi, called him an “accidental Hindu” and mocked him for not knowing how to sit before a Hindu god. The Yogi called Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Hindu’ roots into question and generally let it settle among the Hindutva congregation that Rahul Gandhi is not the expert on Hindu and Hindutva.
The Yogi called Rahul Gandhi an “election tourist”. But while saying that he should not have failed to notice that Rahul Gandhi has single handedly turned these elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand into a referendum on “Hindu and Hindutva”— that for the first time in nearly eight years, the BJP is feeling the heat and that because an “election tourist” pointed to Modi and Yogi and Shah the difference between “Hindu and Hindutva.”
At the end of the day, though, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should be more worried that Lord Krishna appears in Akhilesh Yadav’s dreams. Yogi and Modi and Shah should know that dreams in Hinduism carry a lot of significance and symbolism even if people are talking of the nightmares wrongly or rightly attributed to Hindutva. (IPA Service)