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A litmus test

27 Mar. 2017 10:30 PM IST

It will be grossly inaccurate to suggest that democracy is achieved by having majority in the assembly of elected representatives and that such a majority legitimises every action of the ruler(s). The recent massive landslide won by the BJP in UP was a vote for Modi and all that he promised if the BJP came to power. Instead, that massive mandate has unfolded certain actions of a hardcore Hindu fundamentalist chief minister which are in sharp contrast to the expectations of the voters. The BJP won not because the present chief minister Yogi Adityanath was the party’s face. Yogi Adityanath, head priest at the Gorakhnath math in eastern UP and five time parliamentarian, founded Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) to fight ‘Islamikaran’ of the state. The HYV was also at the forefront of forcible conversion of Christians to Hinduism. The voters of UP voted largely for Modi because his promises of good governance and development made more sense because he has proved to be a good administrator. Instead, after giving the thumbs up to Modi, the people of UP have been given someone whom they had no expectation and one who can never even come close to Modi. UP chief minister Jogi Adityanath is the epitome of whatever is wrong with the Hindutva ideology. He has not disappointed when he made clear his government’s intention. Under the recently installed BJP government, police have taken the ridiculous sounding operation ‘Anti Romeo’ to such levels that any unfortunate males caught in the wrong places are rounded up, assaulted and made to do humiliating sit-ups. All this in the name of protecting women. Such high handed acts have only degraded the law enforcement agency into a comical force. It is not known what has made the government to consider such a force to tackle eve teasers and that too under the name ‘Anti-Romeo Squad’. The second ‘priority’ of the BJP government led by Jogi Adityanath was to place abattoirs (slaughter houses) under scanner where those that had not renewed their permits of those operating without permits were closed down. The priority was not about enforcing the rules in a fair manner but to send a strong message to butchers who are mostly from one particular religious community that their days as meat sellers are over. In such an atmosphere, it was not surprising but certainly condemnable that some goons burnt down some abattoirs because today in UP such elements have taken the upper hand because of political patronage. One thing that needs to be understood, is that just because one may not be bribe giver or taker (corrupt); it does not provide such person(s) with a divine right to determine what can and cannot be done. There are laws to ensure that every section of society and whoever they may be and to whatever religion they belong, are treated equally as citizens of India. What can one understand from the dichotomy of Modi’s good governance and development agenda on one hand and the polarisation of society by his own core party leaders at state levels who care a hoot about pluralism and equality? If BJP leaders like Adityanath and others are making highly inflammatory and communal remarks, is it because they know it has the tacit approval of their leader(s)?

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