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Demography is indeed destiny, but not all is lost for Hindus: How Yogi Adityanath and Himanta Biswa Sarma are showing the way

While demography is destiny, Yogi Adityanath and Himanta Biswa Sarma have proven that not all is lost. There is still hope if Hindus decide to realise the infinite power they have as a majority electorate despite an overwhelming mass of Muslim voters.

In a civilisational battle, the importance of political power cannot possibly be underscored. Elections are won by politicians based on how they can connect with their electorate and to pretend that one section of the society does not play a greater role than the other is being an ostrich with our heads buried in the sand. Congress, for example, spent decades in power because they positioned themselves for the Muslim community as their only political messiah. On the other hand, they counted on the fact that Hindus had given up on ever electing a politician who would look out for their interests, or at least, not actively work against them.

The Congress’ brand of secularism, which essentially gave Muslims the “first right on resources” and treated Hindus as second class citizens, had been mainstreamed for decades, with Hindus almost resigning to their fate. Prime Minister Modi’s electoral victory changed India forever. Hindus suddenly realised that much like Muslims, they too can vote as a bloc and elect leaders who they believe would work for their interest. Democracy could swing either way.

Come 2022, India saw the largest state, Uttar Pradesh, break the jinx and elect the saffron monk for the second time with a thumping majority. While some ticket distribution errors contributed to a decline in BJP’s seat count, Yogi Adityanath’s charm worked wonders, with BJP increasing its vote share tally.

With the entire global media running a campaign against Yogi Adityanath, one has to marvel at just how effortless Yogi Adityanath made his victory look. But there is a larger message to the victory of Yogi Adityanath, which, if Hindus wish to survive in the long run, must analyse and internalise.

In India today, we see two states, run by two dynamic leaders, unseat opposition parties and do exceptionally well. Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath and Assam, under the leadership of Himanta Biswa Sarma. What is far more interesting, is that both these states have a substantial Muslim population.

The Muslim population in Uttar Pradesh, according to the 2011 census was 19.3%. Given that was over a decade ago, it would be safe to assume that conservatively, the Muslim population in the state is well over 20 %. As far as Assam is concerned, the Muslim population according to the 2011 census was 40.3%.

Despite the large Muslim population and the obvious conclusion that Muslims voted en-masse for SP (given that AIMIM lost deposits in 199 out of 100 seats), BJP ended up getting a 41.29% vote share. In Assam, on the other hand, when elections were held in the year 2021, BJP ended up getting 33.21% votes and along with alliance partners, it bagged 44.51% votes.

Many BJP supporters like to believe that a resounding victory in states with a substantial Muslim population means that a section of the Muslim population is also voting for the BJP, thereby breaking the myth that Muslims vote as a bloc and would never choose the saffron party. However, the reality is far from it.

According to a post-poll report by Axis, only 8% of Muslims ended up voting for BJP and its allies in Uttar Pradesh in 2022. A whopping 83% of Muslims voted for the Samajwadi Party.

In 2021, in Assam, a similar situation unfolded.

In Assam, 76.2% Muslims voted for the Congress and the AIUDF, 6.4% voted for the BJP and 17.5% voted for others.

By the numbers, it bodes well to reiterate some basic facts – BJP won in two states with a substantial Muslim population while the Muslims voted as a bloc against BJP.

When we talk about a civilisational battle where Hindus are trying to find their place in a nation-state 7 decades after independence, one phrase that we have repeatedly heard is ‘demography is destiny’. The phrase simply means that ultimately, what will decide the fate of Hindus is their numbers in comparison to that of Muslims in India. Taking Kashmir as an example, a case can be made that when the Muslim population exceeds a certain percentage population, the Hindus of that area are doomed to be massacred and subjugated.

While demography is indeed destiny and we have seen the dynamics play out over and over again, at certain thresholds, Yogi Adityanath and Himanta Biswa Sarma have proved that Hindus can indeed clinch electoral victories even when odds appear against them.

So how did they pull off this massive feat despite an inevitable electoral challenge of Muslims voting en masse again them?

In the governance style of both these leaders – Yogi Adityanath and Himanta Biswa Sarma – one sees certain parallels that are hard to miss. In both these states, the leaders have made it abundantly clear that they do not subscribe to the skewed idea of secularism peddled by the Congress for aeons and taken steps to prove their intent to their core electorate – the Hindus.

In Uttar Pradesh, after the anti-CAA violence, while the entire opposition was busy weaving yarns around just how innocent the “protests” are, Yogi Adityanath proceeded to deal with the domestic terrorists with an iron fist. He ensured that their properties were confiscated to pay for the damages caused to the exchequer. Further, he became one of the first CMs to enact the anti-forced conversion law where for the very first time, Grooming Jihad was taken seriously by a state. The fact that Yogi Adityanath proudly wears his saffron robe and rules the largest state of India with an iron fist only adds to his charm for Hindus. While ruling with an iron fist, he proudly continued his duties as a Mahant, simply saying that as a Hindu, he would not visit a mosque (but would as the CM of the state) and that Hindutva is the essence of our existence.

On the other hand, Himanta Biswa Sarma too followed the same path. Himanta introduced a law against cow slaughter, banning the practice within a 5 kilometre radius of a Temple. Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Mahatma Gandhi wants to protect cows and he is a “blind follower” of Gandhi, so he wants to protect cows too. When questioned whether he has implemented the law so that people cannot eat beef, he responded, “Kyu khaana hai? (Why do they want to eat (beef)?”

During one of the interviews, a journalist mentioned that there were allegations by Mizoram that Assam has too many illegal immigrants and therefore, Assam wants to settle them inside Mizoram. The Assam CM responded, “The illegal Bangladeshi means Muslim. The Muslim has not voted me a single vote during elections. So who are the illegal Bangladeshis on that side? All the immigrant Muslims.”

“If somebody says that Muslims voted for Himanta Biswa Sarma, this country will laugh. I told on the election meeting that please do not vote for us. Then how can they vote for me? So these are allegations said on the time of some tensions. They have to justify their action, I understand. But if people of India comes to know that BJP’s trying to give settlement to the illegal Bangladeshi Muslim and they voted for us, we lost all the seats there,” he added.

He continued, “These are statistics. At least in Assam, nobody (no Muslims) voted for us. These are the statement on fact. I mean, you go by one by one polling booth, not a single vote was cast to BJP. We work for them, that is a different subject but the reality of the life is, for Himanta Biswa Sarma, for Sarbanand Sonowal, in Assam not a single Muslim voted for us.”

The Assam CM also said that if someone claims that he is trying to settle illegal Bangladeshi Muslims, then they would not have brought NRC. He said that they wish to expel all such settlers.

Besides his bold stand on the voting patterns of Muslims (where he proclaimed that he does not want Miyan votes), NRC, beef eating, cow slaughter and the fact that he wanted Madrassas to impart modern education, Himanta has been unflinching when it comes to governance and policy issues.

It is rather evident that in states where the menace of the intolerant minority is felt most starkly, honest conversation with the voters and clear display of intent to Hindus makes a difference. Both Yogi and Sarma have displayed their intent for Hindus not just in words but also in action and the Hindu population of the state rewarded them with electoral victory.

While demography is destiny, Yogi Adityanath and Himanta Biswa Sarma have proven that not all is lost. There is still hope if Hindus decide to realise the infinite power they have as a majority electorate despite an overwhelming mass of Muslim voters. Uttar Pradesh and Assam clearly have lessons for Hindus, in more ways than one. Unite. or. Perish.

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Nupur J Sharma
Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

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