NEW DELHI: Muslim-baiting Hindutva cleric Yogi Adityanath was sworn in on Sunday as the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, and communist leaders described it as a step towards turning India into a Hindu Rashtra (state).
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that with the yogi’s inauguration the BJP and its ideological parent the RSS have sent out a clear message that “they want to transform India into a Hindu Rashtra”.
He said it was also a clear message by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that the backward classes, minorities and other oppressed sections of society “will have to accept upper caste leadership”.
Mr Yechury accused Mr Adityanath of always speaking against the Muslims and the Dalits.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Yogi Adityanath was earlier accused of inciting communal tensions. “He has always been the symbol of communal violence, riots, intolerance and hatred,” Mr Vijayan said. “One cannot forget the fact that he has gone to the extreme of comparing Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan with Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed. He also tarnished the image of socio-cultural leaders ranging from Aamir Khan to Mother Teresa and also asked those reluctant to do ‘surya namaskar’ (a Yoga warm up routine) to go to Pakistan.”
Mr Vijayan said that at a time when the Ayodhya Ram temple issue was relegated to the background of Indian politics, Mr Adityanath triggered a venomous communal campaign to bring it to the centre of BJP agenda.
“By making a person having criminal background the chief minister of the largest state, the message the BJP sends to the nation is that they will continue to try to capture power by resorting to communal riots,” the communist chief minister of Kerala said.
He said only a party with sheer contempt for secularism and democracy can elevate such person as the chief minister.
Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017