THE RISE OF A YOGI ADITYANATH AND HIS ASCEND IN INDIAN POLITICS

Saffron robes, shaved head, and pierced ears adorned with earrings; this is the picture which comes to our mind when we hear the name Yogi Adityanath. He is a name which has become quite common in the recent times. Since he became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, which is politically one of the most significant states of India, he has been in news continuously. News channels went frenzied and prioritized showing his daily schedule over news matter of national and
international importance when he was recently elected as CM. Whether it be his decision of banning ‘illegal’ slaughterhouses or the working of anti-romeo squads, his every step has been scrutinized and debated upon. An earlier MP of Gorakhpur, a small city in eastern UP, he’s now known nationwide. His politics is being closely looked upon by people even in the south of the Vindhyas. So how a priest became a politician, and now a well known figure, is a story of its own. Yogi Adityanath was made the heir of the Gorakshpeeth, an institution of the nath sect with its famous Gorakhnath Temple, by his predecessor Mahant Avaidhyanath. Avaidhyanath was a well known figure in the Babri Mosque demolition controversy. He was also the four time MP from Gorakhpur, and a MLA from Maniram Segment in Gorakhpur for five times. So it was natural that the successor of Mahant Avaidhyanath will be given the responsibility of being the bastion of the powerful Gorakshpeeth and its political grounds.

Adityanath never disappointed and was selected as MP for five consecutive terms from 1998. It is also worth mentioning that he was never always known as Yogi Adityanath. He was born as Ajay Mohan Bisht, in Paudi Garhwal district of Uttarakhand; and has a
BSc degree from Garhwal University. While he was in Gorakhpur, he was always leading from the front, and used to raise his voice eloquently for the people in the Parliament, as well as on the streets. People of Gorakhpur identified with him and he was a kind of savior for them. The most significant effort of his has been for Incephlitis, a disease which has taken thousands of lives since 1997. Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College is the only big hospital equipped with resources to fight this disease in the whole of Purvanchal, and it even covers patients from Nepal and Bihar. Yogi ji (as he was popularly called by people) had worked tirelessly for the betterment of these patients and
many a times raised this issue in the parliament as well. Ironically, when some 40 kids died due to lack of oxygen recently in BRD Hospital, who were in fact incephlitis patients, fingers were raised on the Yogi government’s lack of amenities and execution. It was a serious scam, and the government had started acting on the accused. Coming back to his times as a MP, people of Gorakhpur had always a lot faith in him. In the 2007 Gorakhpur Hindu – Muslim riots, he was accused and put into jail. Allegedly, he was physically tortured; about which he talked about in the parliament amidst tears continually flowing down his cheeks. Yogi was a full time firebrand rampant Hindutva politician. His politics was never hidden. Though, in Gorakhpur, even the minority community used to vote for him. According to some inside sources, even his driver was a Muslim. His popular politics earned him quite a name in eastern UP. Even then he used to share stage with top tier BJP leaders in eastern UP. But back then, his popularity was moreover limited to Gorakhpur and some surrounding districts.

After the massive win in the 2014 general elections, BJP was on a new pedestal. So was Yogi Adityanath. His rise is power and influence was evident in the way he promoted his party in the election campaign in every nook and corner of Uttar Pradesh. The direction of wind in the alleys of New Delhi had already changed. Now was the turn of Lucknow. BJP massacred the other political parties by winning more than three fourth of the total seats in UP assembly elections in 2017.
BJP won a total of 325 seats. The influence of Yogi Adityanath was clearly visible in BJP’s landslide victory. And suddenly the news came that Amit Shah, the BJP part president, had called Yogi by an emergency private jet. Later in the evening news was confirmed that Yogi Adityanath has been chosen as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

This decision was so spontaneous that no one was able to predict it. Yogi was made the CM keeping aside names of big stalwarts like Manoj Sinha and
many others. It was to be honest a reward of Yogi’s popular politics, and the faith people of Gorakhpur had shown in him. But his controversial figure had earlier always over shadowed his persona. And it is no secret that which kind of politics he prefers. Therefore, such a step by BJP showed that they were ready to try out someone who has a disciplined and principled work ethics, keeping aside his controversial image. So like this Ajay Mohan Bisht, who left his material life to become a monk, and now known as Yogi Adityanath, was crowned as the head of the largest state of republic of India. His time as a chief minister has also been full of news. Each and every step taken by his government has been scrutinized and studied closely by the national media. But there is no doubt that he had taken some bold steps. He had always talked about a strong law and order in the state, and more than five hundred encounters by police in his tenure are steps to fulfill his promise. He has also been in touch with industrialists to develop the commercial front of the state which was mostly left out. Moreover he’s an eloquent speaker and has always kept made his points clear with unflinching audacity. Be it his old hindutva politics, or the current matters of Uttar Pradesh.
In UP there’s a superstition that the CM who visited Noida will never be able to get his seat again. Yogi recently broke that jinx by inaugurating the new metro line in Noida. Such steps have created a very positive image of his in the alleys of the saffron party. He is now being sent in states like Gujrat and Karnataka as a party star campaigner in election campaigns. PM Modi always talks about him with respect and certain pride. Among all the BJP CM’s in India, he is definitely the one
who is most sought out for. Infact he is also planned to be sent to promote BJP in the next Tripura elections, and he is being viewed as a trump card, as there are lot of Bengalis who follow the Nath sect there. This audacious and evident rise of Yogi Adityanath has caused a lot of noise in the political circus of India. Some people may call it ridiculously preposterous, but some feel that BJP is grooming him for the successor of Narendra Modi. Whether it maybe true or not, but it is damn sure that the brand of Yogi Adityanath is in huge demand in the current political market of India. And currently, this demand seems to be unwavering for quite some time.

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