The Indian right wing has gotten themselves a new darling. Move over Modi, here comes Yogi.
That’s right, the one thing none of us thought possible has happened and Yogi Adityanath, a Hindutva extremist, is now the chief minister of India’s largest state. A man who openly hates women, gay people, Muslims, Christians, beef-eaters, Dalits, and pretty much everyone who won’t shout Jai Sree Ram, will rule over the birthplace of Indian syncretic culture.
Honestly, I’m pretty happy about this event. Till date, despite their clear Hindutva leanings, the Modi government hadn’t made any decisions that were openly in support of it. Now they’ve finally shown their true colours and unleashed a terrorist on a state.
And what has Yogi Maharaj achieved since ascending to the throne? He’s called for strict action against slaughterhouses. Because getting rid of slaughterhouses, which provide employment to hundreds of people, is more important than fighting crime, or say, providing development. And let’s not forget, he also managed to do something no one thought they’d see in a 21st century country. He institutionalised moral policing.
That’s right, the chief minister of UP wants to start “Anti-Romeo” squads that’ll go around stopping… what exactly? Sexual harassment? Are you telling me the man who opposed the Women’s Representation bill (which would provide reservations for women to contest to the fucking parliament), told his followers to kidnap a 100 Muslim women for every Hindu woman who converts, and who openly blamed rape victims for their getting raped, is suddenly worried about the safety of women?
Let’s call it what it is. The Yogi wants people patrolling the streets to ensure everyone follows “sanskar”. No, you can’t hold hands. No, you can’t talk to someone from the opposite sex. You definitely can’t do it with someone of your own sex. All that is against our Hindu culture.
Modi has finally managed to prove that he can and will get away with anything. Take away people’s hard-earned money to supposedly fight terrorism? Been there. Install a terrorist as the head of the largest state in the union? Done that. Grab power in two states by ignoring the popular vote? This is too easy!
And make no mistake, the right wing love him. The saffron flags are out and people are out bragging on the streets “Hindustan meh rahna hai, tho Yogi Yogi kehna hai” (If you want to live in Hindustan, you have to say Yogi Yogi). Our democratic system has managed to allow a fear-mongering, Muslim hating, shit-spewing demagogue to come to power. Talk about aping the west. So yeah, we are absolutely fucked.
To me at least, this is a sign that we have finally hit rock bottom. Any hopes that the BJP would forgo their extremist leanings have been wiped out by this single act and now there’s nothing to do but wait for the backlash. And it will come. Surely and swiftly.
For how much longer will we accept the diktats of a state that feeds on our fears and turns us against our neighbours and friends? How much longer will we bear with the hypocrisy of clerics who preach peace and exhort violence? For just how long will we continue to be mute spectators to the wholesale massacre of everything this country stood for? How long till we finally say enough is enough?
Because this is not Hindu Pakistan. This is not just the home of the saffron-clad and their followers. This is India and every time you push the Indian people to the breaking point, they always, always push back. We took down the Emergency, for crying out loud! No Yogi stands a chance against our need to be free.
There is no time to lose. The Left must unite and anyone with any hope for a tolerant and egalitarian India must join them in taking down this communalist, ultra-nationalist and hate-mongering government before they consume us all. It’s time to fight back.
This is our country, our land and our democracy and we cannot let anyone tell us we don’t have a right to the same. India does not belong to the Yogis or the Modis, it belongs to the raped women, the abused Dalits, the oppressed tribes, and the hungry farmers. And we will take it back.