I will admit it. When BJP named Yogi Adityanath as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, I was so excited that my hands were shaking. Like a week after sweeping the ‘seculars’ out with a 325/404 landslide, the BJP rubbed salt on their raw wounds by placing saffron clad Yogi as CM. I wondered if my heart was strong enough to take so much happiness in such a short time. Rivers of liberal tears. I wish I could have frozen that moment and lived in it forever.
But I write this post to express and put on record my growing unhappiness with the journey of Yogi Adityanath and more importantly the conduct of BJP supporters around him. Actually, it’s not like Yogi Adityanath has done something I disapprove of, it is much much more about how some BJP supporters have been behaving around him and talking about him.
Yogi has been CM of Uttar Pradesh for less than a year. He hasn’t actually done anything yet to deserve the level of adulation he is getting from a section of BJP supporters. Somebody needs to put this on a wall so that ‘right wingers’ can read this everyday.
Obviously, it’s not Yogi’s fault. Who can transform a state, that too one as large as Uttar Pradesh with misgovernance of decades, in just 10 months? But the fact remains that Yogi is unproven. That’s just a hard truth.
I know many BJP supporters see their future leader in him. And I can understand that. But please remember that he is unproven as yet and any premature adulation will only make him less likely to do the things he actually needs to do to become BJP’s next big leader.
So, if you are a true well wisher of Yogi Adityanath, for goodness sake, STOP!!!
STOP talking about him as a future Prime Minister or the next Modi. Right now there are only two similarities that I can see in Yogi and Modi — both have crazy fans and crazier haters. The haters especially will help Yogi grow in stature, but Modi grew in stature not just because of his haters, but because of his hard work too. That’s where Yogi needs to prove himself.
Remember that Modi became Modi because his path was full of thorns. Please go back down memory lane and see what Modi did, how hard he worked to emerge as No. 1.
You know, Narendra Modi made Gujarat into the first state in India with 24 hour domestic power supply. At a time when the rest of the country would pray that electricity comes at least once a day, Gujaratis had power round the clock.
You know, Narendra Modi built trauma centers in every little village in Gujarat. Ambulances in Gujarat arrive within 10-15 minutes. For nearly a decade, Gujarat saw nearly double digit growth in agricultural production despite being essentially a desert state.
Not to mention that Modi turned Gujarat into a heaven for investors and industries. For 10 continuous years from 2002 to 2012, there was no curfew for a single day in a single corner of Gujarat.
That was Modi’s Gujarat.
I remember when Modi spoke boldly at a rally in Uttar Pradesh, targetting Mulayam Singh Yadav in these words:
“Netaji, aap Gujarat nahin bana sakte. Uske liye 56 inch ka seena chahiye.”
He could say it with confidence because he knew what he had achieved for the people of Gujarat.
Modi’s Gujarat was not built in a day. It was this process of building Gujarat that molded Narendra Modi into the leader he is today.
There are at least four clear reasons for why the right-wing needs to scale down its adulation of Yogi Adityanath
(1) Your premature adulation hurts Yogi Adityanath himself. You are making the man complacent instead of hard working.
(2) You are insulting the decade long hard work of Narendra Modi in Gujarat that he did to emerge as India’s leader No. 1
(3) You are in some way embracing the worst of the same Congress culture you despise. Rahul Gandhi is a god for them simply because of his family name. Don’t let Yogi become a god for you simply because he wears saffron. If you start giving people things they don’t deserve, you are no better than a Congressi.
(4) People are ultimately very smart. They can see through artificial euphoria around a personality. Akhilesh had plenty of it going into the 2017 election. But people see work. Unnecessary euphoria without work actually pisses off the electorate.
Again, this is not to say that Yogi isn’t doing anything. He has made a great start with going after criminals in Uttar Pradesh, with improving the roads, filling potholes, asking for property records to be linked to Aadhar to hit benami property and more. I wrote previously about how his efforts on controlling spread of diseases are bearing fruit.
But that’s all it is. A great start. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Let’s leave it at that.
Of course, there are valid criticisms that you can make against me here.
You can say this: But Chaiwallah, you started this article talking about how excited you were when Yogi was made CM. How dare you mock others for being excited about him?
My answer : point taken and accepted with humility. In my defense, I will say that I have tried my best to tone down my own exhilaration and tried to be objective in evaluating the man. Maybe I succeeded, maybe I didn’t. You decide and feel free to make fun of me if you want. But please, please don’t let this detract from the real issue of how the right-wing is going overboard (and hurting its own interest) through its premature adulation towards Yogi.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.